The Idaho Spending Index examines appropriation bills on several fronts to add important context to lawmakers’ discussions as they are considered on the floor of the House and Senate. Among the issues we look at in drawing a conclusion about a budget:
Does the agency requesting these funds serve a proper role of government? Has wasteful or duplicative spending been identified within the agency, and if so, has that spending been eliminated or corrected? Does the budget examine existing spending to look for opportunities to contain spending, e.g., through a base reduction? If there is a maintenance budget, is that maintenance budget appropriate? Are the line items appropriate in type and size, and are they absolutely necessary for serving the public? Does the budget contemplate the addition of new employees or programs? Does the appropriation increase dependency on the federal government?
Our analysis is intended to provide lawmakers and their constituents with a frame of reference for conservative budgeting, by summarizing whether appropriation measures contain items that are sincerely objectionable or sincerely supportable.
Bill Description: Senate Bill 1425 appropriates $775,000 to the Rural Educator Incentive Program as established by the passage of Senate Bill 1290 for fiscal year 2023.
Senate Bill 1425 funds the new Rural Educator Incentive Program created by the passage of Senate Bill 1290. This program would add to the existing education bureaucracy by creating a new taxpayer subsidized student debt payment program for state certified public school teachers. It is for workers who have student debt or eligible education expenses of $1,000 or more and work at a rural or economically disadvantaged district or public charter school. Workers who would benefit from this program would receive $1,500 in the first year, $2,500 in the second year, $3,500 in the third year, and $4,500 in the fourth year. Instead of addressing the ongoing misallocation of taxpayer dollars within the education system, which leads to low teacher pay, this bill increases spending on the public education system from the general fund by at least $3 million per year.
Senate Bill 1425 would initiate the program by appropriating $775,000 for fiscal year 2023 using money from the General Fund. This means that taxpayers would be subject to subsidizing the education debt of teachers with taxes. This is a redistribution of wealth and an inappropriate use of tax dollars from the General Fund.
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