Little proposes teacher bonuses and raises in historic 11% increase to K-12 education

Jan 31, 2022

Gov. Brad Little proposed bonuses and raises for teachers and a historic 11% increase to K-12 education funding on Monday as he kicked off the 2022 legislative session with his State of the State address.

He also called on the Legislature to bankroll a $50 million-grant program to help families, and offered flexible literacy dollars that school districts could use to fund all-day kindergarten.

“Our investments in education later on will have more impact if we can work with families to get more students to read proficiently early on,” Little told House and Senate members in his address on the Idaho Capitol’s House floor.

If the Legislature passes Little’s requested budget, Idaho schools would enjoy their largest state funding increase in Idaho history, in terms of dollars spent, Little’s budget chief Alex Adams told reporters Monday.

While requesting added funding, Little urged prudence with the state’s record surplus, which he pegged at $1.9 billion Monday. And he pushed tax cuts and rebates while railing against “Bidenflation” in a series of jabs at the Democratic White House.

The Governor emphasized education and infrastructure as his top priorities, echoing the focus on schools that he’s preached since his 2018 gubernatorial campaign.

An emotional moment came when Little recognized Rigby Middle School teacher Krista Gneiting, who disarmed a sixth-grade shooting suspect in May of last year. Gneiting stood in the House to a standing ovation.

Read the full story from Idaho News here.