Idahoans Reacts To Special Session Education Funding Bill
This week, the Idaho Legislature completed its short mission by passing a massive spending bill to send over 400 million dollars to fund Idaho schools. Although, as we've reported, school funding has increased by over forty-one percent in the last two years. Schools have over a billion dollars in reserve funds.
HB-1 passed the Idaho House 55-15 and the Senate 34-1 despite the last-minute effort by lawmakers and citizens to speak out against it. Governor Little signed the bill in hopes of short-circuiting the need for Idahoans to approve the Reform Idaho-led referendum on the ballot this fall.
Governor Little released his victory statement after signing the bill:
“The successful extraordinary session demonstrates government working FOR THE PEOPLE. I am proud of my legislative partners for confronting the substantial impacts of inflation head on by putting our record budget surplus back in the pockets of Idahoans while responsibly funding education at historic levels to ensure we are meeting our constitutional and moral obligation to Idaho students and families both in the short-term and the long-term. Returning the people’s money is the right thing to do, and the education investments support families, help us keep up with growth, enhance our quality of life, and prepare a workforce to meet the changing needs of employers.
However many Idahoans did not share the governor's joy. However the Idaho Education Association was overwhelmed with receiving more money from state taxpayers.
'Today’s record education investment by lawmakers is a strikingly bold step away from decades of chronic underfunding of Idaho’s public schools. Our members applaud the bill’s supporters and Governor Little’s leadership. This funding creates a huge opportunity for school districts to make an incalculable difference in our public school classrooms. Moving ahead, IEA members are eager to work with the new legislature this January on putting this investment to work for our students, public schools and dedicated educators.'
Idaho's Congressional Delegation shared their thoughts in a group release:
“Idaho and Micron have been partners since Day One of the company’s founding right here in the Treasure Valley. Micron’s announcement of a new fab coming to Boise deepens that partnership,” said Senator Jim Risch. “This newest plant will strengthen American memory chip manufacturing and help ensure the U.S. is self-reliant for this key technology. Congratulations to all the employees at Micron on this announcement as Idaho continues to lead the way in semiconductor innovation and success.”
“Micron expanding its home in Boise ensures the semiconductor industry will continue to innovate and develop new technologies that keep Idaho on the leading edge for research and development,” Senator Mike Crapo said. “This expansion is valuable to our state, workforce and economy.”
“I am thrilled to hear the news that Micron will be building such a critical facility for U.S. national and economic security here in Idaho,” said Congressman Mike Simpson. “Micron has always been a technological leader in the field and I am so pleased they will continue their cutting-edge work right where they started.”
“As an early employee of Micron, it has been remarkable to see their lasting impact on Idaho’s success,” said Congressman Russ Fulcher. “This new investment will not only build on this success, but will also improve America’s position in the semiconductor industry.”