BOISE -- Gov. C.L. Butch Otter wants to boost public schools spending by nearly 2.9 percent to $1.34 billion, though he's not setting aside additional cash for teacher pay increases.
His proposed fiscal year 2015 budget, unveiled Monday, still leaves public schools about $60 million shy of the roughly $1.4 billion school spending package five years ago that preceded the economic downturn beginning in late 2007.
The biggest share of new spending on K-12 schools, $35 million for the year starting next July, is meant to help districts pay for operations, including insurance and utilities.
Schools lost about $83 million in operational funding, as part of cuts made during the Great Recession.
Beyond schools, Otter's budget also includes $15 million for water projects, including new dams, and $2 million for wolf control.