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Governor Otter Delivers Annual State of the State Address
Boise, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV )
Governor Otter is outlining his priorities for 2014.
This afternoon he gave the annual State of the State address.
Chasity Conger of Twin Falls notes, "my husband and I made a conscience choice to send our son to a private school because we feel that public schools are overcrowded because there is not enough one on one interaction with the students."
Improving education is at the top of Governor Otter's list.
During his speech he emphasized the need to invest in Idaho's education system, focusing on "K-through-career".
His plans include a budget request to increase general fund spending for public schools, including 25.6 million for fiscal year 2014.
Wiley Dobbs, Superintendent of Twin Falls schools, says, "I was encouraged by education being a top priority and the fact there are going to be efforts at least on the Governor's part to restore some of the funding that's been lost over the last several years during the economic downturn."
Conger adds, "I think it's needed, I think it's needed in the entire country. K–12 is not getting enough attention. If there are more teachers and more classrooms I would definitely send my kid to public school because it would save me money."
Yet, the plans were not without controversy.
The new budget does not include pay increases for public school teachers.
Says Dobbs, "I was discouraged there is going to be a cut to teacher compensation to help pay for this. Again, this is the Governor's recommendation so it's far from stone. But our teachers have endured cuts the last 4–5 years and it's time to get back on education from all points and for me that's teacher compensation."