Idaho Democrats Say GOP Majority Is 'Starving Schools'

Jan 7, 2014

Democrats blasted Republicans during their annual response to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's State of the State speech, charging the majority party with "starving schools."

At a press conference Tuesday, House Minority Leader John Rusche, from Lewiston, and Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, criticized Republican claims that education funding cuts over the last five years resulted from the "Great Recession."

Rusche and Stennett countered these cuts were "choice, intentional and deliberate."

In his 2015 budget, Otter has proposed a 2.9 percent increase to education funding in fiscal year 2015, to $1.34 billion.

Democrats say Otter must do more to reverse what they say is an 11 percent drop in the state's share of spending on education since 2000.

Among their priorities, they say, is lifting Idaho out of its "low-wage trap."