Idahoans ready for lawmakers to get to work on school funding

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - State lawmakers convene Monday for the legislative session, and some Idahoans are glad the focus will be on public education.

"I'm getting married this year, and I will have kids," said Megan Gailey of Boise. "If we do end up getting a large amount of (education) funding, then I will be more willing to stay in Boise and raise my kids here and in the schools that are here."

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said Friday he wants to boost funding for Idaho's public schools.

"As far as where we're ranked nationally, it's not that great," said Michael Conger of Boise. "I know we're in the bottom 5 percent in the nation, so I think at the very least, that should be one of his primary focuses."

The governor's education plan will center on the $350 million, 20-point blueprint laid out by his education task force. He gave few specifics of his five-year plan, but not everyone in Idaho thinks additional school funding should be a given.

"I'd like to see us even out our budget on all arenas, not just education for kids," said Amber Dow of Nampa. "It's not that it's not important, it's very important, but there's a lot of things that are important."

Legislative sessions typically last just three months, a short time for lawmakers as they also work to keep their jobs in the 2014 election.