BOISE -- Educators petitioned Idaho's budget-setters to boost their wages and pour more state money into the public school system.

Gov. C.L. Butch Otter didn't recommend raises at the beginning of the Legislature, despite a task force recommendation that a pay increase was need to keep workers from defecting to states that would pay them better.

But teachers, superintendents, and school district employees turned out in force to the Statehouse Friday to ask the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee to back them anyway.

The educators may get their wish: Sen. Dean Cameron, the budget committee's head, has vowed to go to bat for teacher pay.

Sam Perez, a teacher in the Meridian School District, told budget-setters that if schools were not adequately funded, they could start slashing programs, jobs and school days.

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