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Idaho Governor’s State of the State Focused on Education

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter billed yesterday’s State of the State speech — and his proposed 2.9 percent boost for public education for fiscal year 2015 — as an embarkation point on a five-year journey to boost Idaho’s schools.

Immediately after the half-hour address, however, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna criticized the governor’s plan, arguing it results in a teacher pay cut. Luna, like Otter a Republican facing re-election, wants at least $21 million more injected into the governor’s $1.34 billion public education budget.

During his speech to kick off the 2014 Legislature, Otter conceded to lawmakers in the House his $1.34 billion K-12 budget package wouldn’t satisfy everybody. But he says the proposal fulfills an important goal — a spending plan that’s “measured, manageable and within our means.”

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