Small Increase May Mean Taxes

July 23, 2019 2 min read

Shortly before the close of their 1986 session last month, Idaho lawmakers approved a 3.3 percent increase in state support for public education.

The increase was smaller than those of the previous two years, which officials say barely kept pace with inflation.

“I’m disappointed, but not surprised,” said State Superintendent Jerry Evans. According to his projections, he said, the increase “does not provide for the maintenance of current operation levels.”

To raise funds, financially strapped school districts will probably have to ask local voters for increases in property-tax revenues, he said. “We will have more override levies than in the past because of the inadequate level of appropriations.”

The legislature appropriated $314 million for public-school support for the next school year, including a one-time appropriation of $4- million for textbooks and other instructional materials.

The current year’s appropriation is $304 million, $1.8 million of which was a one-time appropriation that is not distributed through the state’s equalized-funding formula.

Gov. John V. Evans is expected to sign the budget measure this week, according to his spokesman, although the allocation for public schools is slightly less than he had originally requested.

The bill would increase total state spending by about $34 million to $606 million next year.

The legislature also agreed to a temporary one-cent increase in the state sales tax. The increase will expire next July.

Although education officials had lobbied for the tax increase in the hope that the new revenues would go to education programs, lawmakers instead approved what many termed a “pork barrel” project of $27 million in new public-building construction.

“We took another step backwards in education funding,” said Donald Rollie, executive director of the Idaho Education Association.

“It’s going to be a very difficult spring and summer, not only for [collective] bargaining,” he said. “I feel sorry for administrators who have to try and run their schools under these conditions.”

In the upcoming primary and general elections, he predicted, “there will be a great effort to moderate what has become a very conservative and recalcitrant legislature.”

State lawmakers also passed a bill outlining for the first time a procedure for the recall of local school-board members. The law fulfills the terms of a state-court ruling last spring that school-board members are not exempt from recall elections under the state constitution.

A coalition of conservative legislators experienced little success this year with their education agenda, which included proposals to restrict the collective-bargaining rights of school employees and mandate balanced treatment of the theories of creationism and evolution. (See Education Week, Feb. 12, 1986.)

The one bill that the conservatives groups successfully lobbied for mandates the appointment of two non-educator parents to the statewide textbook-adoption committee.

A version of this article appeared in the April 09, 1986 edition of Education Week

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Data Analyst
New York, NY, US
New Visions for Public Schools
Project Manager
United States
K12 Inc.
High School Permanent Substitute Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District
MS STEM Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read