In mid January, Boise Weekly spoke with Karen Echeverria, executive director of the Idaho School Boards Association, about implications of last November's voter rejection of the Students Come First initiatives.
Echeverria: "I don't think the public was aware that $30 million was left on the table, and we have to figure out what to do with that money. We don't want that going toward business personal property taxes. We want that to go to school districts."
BW: "Won't that have to be determined very soon?"
Echeverria: "A series of payments go out to school districts and the next one is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 1. And right, now the check to schools will be minus some of that money because voters turned down the propositions on technology and students who want to take dual-enrollment courses. The likelihood of the Legislature passing an appropriation bill and the governor signing it is, in my opinion, slim to none."
BW even demonstrated Idaho schools' own version of the fiscal cliff in this video.
Nearly three weeks after the Feb. 1 deadline, the Idaho House voted unanimously today to restore the $30 million into the current fiscal year budget so that districts could access the funds. The Idaho Senate still needs to consider the measure and Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter must sign the action before the funds can be forwarded.