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New Idaho Schools Superintendent Wants $87 Million Budget Boost

Adam Cotterell
Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra says she wants local school officials to decide how money should be spent in the classroom.

During her first budget presentation to the Legislature Thursday morning, Ybarra said she hadn't yet determined exactly how funds for some of her biggest policy initiatives would be spent. Instead, Ybarra said, she wanted to figure out those details once she saw just how much money the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee budgets for each line item.

Overall, Ybarra is asking for $87.3 million more for public schools, a 6.4 percent increase over last year's $1.4 billion total. Her proposal also shifts more than $18.7 million from teacher professional development and other programs to operations, where she said local administrators could use the money where it is needed most. Another $25 million would go toward a pilot teacher career ladder program.

Her presentation prompted questions from lawmakers seeking more detail. But Ybarra frequently responded that the details would be worked out once she knows how much money she's working with.

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