Senate OKs Idaho higher education budget of $643M

March 21, 2022 GMT

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The $643 million budget for Idaho’s colleges and universities headed to the governor on Monday.

The Senate voted 30-5 to approve the budget for Boise State University, Idaho State University, Lewis-Clark State College and the University of Idaho.

The House approved the budget on a 46-22 vote last week.

Last year, the same budget was cut $2.5 million in the House over what opponents said were there concerns about the schools teaching critical race theory, a way of thinking about America’s history through the lens of racism.

Backers of this year’s budget said the schools were responsive to the Legislature’s concerns, and the $2.5 million cut from last year wasn’t added back in this year.

About $338 million of the budget is coming from the state’s general fund, an 8% increase over last year.

Republican Sen. Jim Woodward noted that university presidents promised to maintain tuition costs at current rates.

“We had a commitment from the institutions to not raise tuition,” he said.