Legislature OKs final $1.3 billion schools budget

Associated Press
POSTED: 1:29 PM Apr 04 2013
BOISE, Idaho -

The Idaho Legislature has signed off on a revised $1.3 billion public schools budget, paving the way for final signature by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter.
    
The spending bill that's kept lawmakers in Boise for an extra week cleared the Senate Thursday on a 29-5 vote and then passed the House 57-11.
    
The new budget is nearly identical to the one that died on the Senate floor last week. It includes $3 million for pilot technology programs, $21 million for teacher merit pay, and raises teacher starting salaries to $31,000.
    
A companion measure featuring minor changes including conditions on merit pay passed both chambers Wednesday.
    
Rupert Sen. Dean Cameron said the budget isn't perfect, but has support from the teachers union, school boards and Department of Education.