- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The Idaho Senate has approved a 7.4 percent increase to the state’s public school budget, which includes funding for a sweeping five-year plan to boost teacher pay.

The chamber unanimously approved all seven parts of the Idaho’s largest budget - totaling more than $1.4 billion of general funds - with no debate on Tuesday.

Republican Sen. Dean Cameron from Rupert says he’d never seen the chamber move through the education budget so swiftly.

The budget allows bumping rookie teacher pay to $32,700 a year starting in July. Teacher pay will steadily increase to $37,000 annually over the next five years, if the Idaho Legislature continues to provide the funding.

The schools budget proposal now goes to the House for consideration, where it’s likely to pass.

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