BOISE -- Idaho charter schools would be eligible for state funding to help pay for building improvements and operations under a bill making its way through the House.

The House Education Committee voted Thursday to introduce a measure that would make an estimated $1.4 million available to offset for facility costs for nontraditional schools.

Charter schools get a share of tax dollars to help with general operating budgets. But unlike traditional schools, charter schools can't ask local voters to approve levies for other costs.

Department of Education Deputy Chief of Staff Jason Hancock said the legislation is an equalizer.

The funding formula would allow lawmakers to appropriate in the first year up to 20 percent of the per-pupil average collected by public schools statewide from bond levies and facilities levies.

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