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Gov. Little answers public's questions about education, growth following re-election

Side profile of Gov. Brad Little standing with a black suit jacket. The background is blurred.
AP Images

Two days after winning his re-election, Governor Brad Little took the public’s questions at an AARP live-streamed event.

Callers brought up concerns over growth, property taxes and housing costs.

Gov. Little said his priorities were education and infrastructure as more people from out of state move to Idaho.

“I can't build a wall even though I've talked about it a couple of times,” he said “and so we also have to plan for the new people that are coming into the state.”

Christy, a substitute teacher from Kuna, asked about teachers’ pay, saying that educators were not being paid a living wage.

“That is really your school board and your administration that makes the determination,” he answered, “but everybody in the Valley knows how crazy the growth is in Kuna in the school district. “

Little said $300 million from the state’s tax surplus directed towards education in September would be reflected in a teacher's pay increase next year.

“We do have a problem that we're surrounded by some states, actually we've got two states, Washington and Wyoming, that pay more and Oregon a little bit, but Utah and Montana pay less,” he said.

The National Education Association reports Idaho ranks 45th in the country for average teacher salary at just under $53,000.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.