BOISE -- The public education budget hammered out by lawmakers the last three months was supposed to be a grand bargain for Idaho public schools.

Now, the $1.3 billion budget rejected in the Senate last week has become a grand debacle -- and the big reason for extending the 2013 legislative session.

The Senate rejected the spending plan 18-17 after opponents accused budget writers of not properly consulting the education committee on how key slices of money were being spent.

Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee Co-Chairman Sen. Dean Cameron of Rupert says House and Senate education committees deserve to weigh in on how the money will be spent. But he and others cautioned against radical change.

Budget gripes included $13 million for classroom technology and restoring the system for setting teacher salaries.

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