Superintendent of Public Instruction submits budget request for next fiscal year

Updated: Sep. 3, 2023 at 11:58 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —Superintendent of Public Instruction Debbie Critchfield submitted the annual budget request for Idaho’s k-12 education.

The budget is due every year to the governor’s office on September first. By building upon last year’s record increase, Critchfield is adding approximately $120 Million in additional state general funding. The education budget is one of the largest state budgets and often the most confusing.

Superintendent Critchfield told KMVT, being clear and transparent are two of her priorities. She says, “We shouldn’t have to have a PhD in Economics to be able to understand where taxpayer money is going and it shouldn’t be overly complicated not only for the taxpayer but for our business managers and our parents. I think simplifying it we want something that’s more transparent that’s more clear and that is more meaningful for our schools.”

During a funding formula panel, the superintendent heard from districts about specific line items, as many of those limited how they used their money. Unlike previous public school budgets, this one doesn’t have seven divisions with line items.

“To understand where that money goes we don’t need so many descriptive line items. We’re also trying to take some of the line items and put them into more discretionary per students components so that again a district realizes they need more money for math than what the state sends they got some room to move around they’re flexible,” Critchfield said.

Another feature of the education budge request includes a student teacher pay incentive, with a particular focus on incentives for rural, remote, and underserved schools.

The full budget request can be found on the Idaho State Department of Education’s website.