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House Bill 757 – Public Schools, Facilities Division, Appropriations FY25

House Bill 757 – Public Schools, Facilities Division, Appropriations FY25

Niklas Kleinworth
March 28, 2024

The Idaho Spending Index serves to provide a fiscally conservative perspective on state budgeting while providing an unbiased measurement of how Idaho lawmakers apply these values to their voting behavior on appropriations bills. Each bill is analyzed within the context of the metrics below. They receive one (+1) point for each metric that is satisfied by freedom-focused policymaking and lose one (-1) point for each instance in which the inverse is true. The sum of these points composes the score for the bill.

Analyst: Niklas Kleinworth

Rating: 0

Bill Description: House Bill 757 appropriates $214,982,100 to the Public Schools Facilities Division for fiscal year 2025.

ANALYST NOTE: This legislation contains several line items that are statutory appropriations. These include facilities funding from House Bill 521 (2024) and a distribution from House Bill 292 (2023). There is also $20 million being transferred from the Public School Income Fund to the School District Facilities Fund. This is not new spending as it is part of the $330 million already allocated to public schools through House Bill 1 from the 2022 extraordinary session. This item would earmark a portion of those funds for facilities improvements.

Does this budget incur any wasteful spending among discretionary funds, including new line items? Conversely, does this budget contain any provisions that serve to reduce spending where possible (i.e. base reductions, debt reconciliation, etc.)? 

House Bill 757 provides for a $147,096,500 increase in school facilities funding statewide — a 217% increase in spending from fiscal year 2024. This is through statutory adjustments made through House Bills 521 (2024) and 292 (2023). Additional appropriations are also made from the $330 million appropriated in House Bill 1 of the 2022 extraordinary session.

All this new spending is in addition to the $1 billion in bonding authorized over the next ten years in House Bill 521. There are certainly examples of schools in the state of Idaho that need maintenance, but the appropriations made in this budget lack precision. This additional funding appears to be appropriated based on maximizing volume rather than the assessed need within the state. It may not be necessary to add these funds and saddle Idahoans with debt. Yet bureaucracies always argue that more funding is needed. Few districts will opt to pass on these increases.

This strategy to rehabilitate Idaho’s K-12 education facilities is one ripe for waste and abuse for decades to come.


Is the maintenance budget inappropriate for the needs of the state, the size of the agency, or the inflationary environment of the economy? Conversely, is the maintenance budget appropriate given the needs of the state and economic pressures?

This legislation confirms the program maintenance budget for the Facilities Division of $67,885,600, growing from the base by 9.6% over the last three years. This rate is slower than the rate of inflation over the same period, demonstrating acceptable growth in the cost to maintain the agency.


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