Dean Mortimer

Idaho Ed News

Sen. Dean Mortimer has a $20.3 million plan to help schools cover health insurance costs.

Education groups are split on the idea. Depending on who you listen to, Mortimer’s plan could help schools attract and keep teachers. Or, it could exacerbate Idaho’s teacher shortage.

At some point, the Senate Education Committee will vote on the idea.

Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, uses some complicated math to construct his Senate Bill 1096.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers want to wrap up the 2013 Legislative session Friday. But one big obstacle stands in the way, the $1.3 billion public education budget, which makes up nearly half of the state’s spending. It’s passed the House and comes before the Senate Wednesday morning. And there’s a group of senators that don’t like it.

One of those is Dean Mortimer who was also one of five senators who objected when the budget writing committee passed the schools budget.

“There’s not enough flexibility for our districts in discretionary income,” Mortimer says.