The governor said that Idaho public schools and families will receive even more financial aid, making Idaho one of the only states in the country increase funding for K-12 education during the COVID Crisis.  He spoke to the state media today during a noon news conference.

“Idaho was just recognized for leading all 50 states in our economic momentum. That’s the reason we’re able to make these investments in education during the pandemic while other states face 20- to 40-percent budget cuts, including cuts to education,” Governor Little said.

The governor further explained his plan in a written release.  He's directing $99 million in relief funds to ensure schools are fully funded and prepared to educate Idaho’s children during the pandemic. The funds restore the budgets school districts set for the academic year, on top of $122 million already provided to K-12 education this year, including more than $60 million for safe reopening.

All told, funds for K-12 education this year increased 10.5-percent to reopen our schools and minimize learning hurdles caused by the pandemic.

Over the summer, Governor Little worked with the Trump Administration and Idaho’s Congressional Delegation, emphasizing the need for more flexibility in the allocation of relief dollars, including for public schools. The U.S. Treasury updated guidance last week giving states more authority to use federal coronavirus relief funds for COVID-related needs in public school budgets. Idaho seized the opportunity and acted within days to support our schools.

Speaking of schools, the controversy continues involving the West Ada School Districts handling of their reopening.