BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Legislative budget writers have voted to boost state support for public schools by 4.6 percent next year while increasing the minimum teacher salary to $30,500, up from $30,000. The $1.56 billion spending plan for public schools in 2013 was approved Monday by the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. The budget includes $1.27 billion in state general funding, a difference of about $56.2 million over this year. The plan still needs House and Senate approval. It does not shift money from teacher salaries to help pay for education reforms signed into law last year. A bill passed by the Idaho Senate would eliminate the salary funding cuts spelled out in the reform plan from public schools chief Tom Luna, leaving lawmakers to find the money for new technology and teacher merit pay bonuses.
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