Idaho Governor Brad Little delivered his State of the State address Monday.
Much of his focus was on education.
The Idaho Republican Governor touted improvements in the state’s school system, including pay raises for teachers, and doubling funding for literacy programs.
“At Betty Kiefer Elementary in Rathdrum, where 37% of the students come from low income houses, we saw incredible overall fall-to-spring improvements. Reading proficiency rose an astounding 32%. More than 85% of third graders at Betty Kiefer Elementary were reading proficiently by the end of the school year,” Little said.
The Democratic minority gave a follow-up address. Sen. Michelle Stennett (D-Ketchum) said the increased education funding has helped, but not enough, when it comes to teacher’s salaries.
“Underfunded, our schools struggle to pay a competitive wage, attract teachers to their communities, and have adequately trained teachers in the classroom. Quality educators head to other states where they can receive better wages and benefits and their background education,” Stennett said.
Governor Little called for lawmakers to approve $30 million more to be spent on teachers’ salaries.