LOS ANGELES — Idaho's budget plans will raise state education funding to the highest level ever by 2017, boosting the credit quality for the state's schools, according to Moody's Investors Service.

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter signed budget bills March 30 that will result in a combined $3.9 billion in additional funding for K-12 schools by 2017 from the state's general fund and other funds.

The budget bills increase the amounts in the general fund dedicated to K-12 schools by 7.4% in both fiscal 2016 and 2017; and from all funds by 5.1% in fiscal 2016 and 6.2% in 2017, Moody's analysts said.

Idaho's school funding formula that includes a calculation of "support units," based on enrollment figures and the size of the district.

Funding per support unit, as a measure of unrestricted funds flowing to districts, has returned to the 2009 level of $25,696 per support unit, which was the pre-recession peak of support unit funding, analysts said..

The additional funding will have the greatest impact, by dollar amount, on the largest school districts in Idaho.

With the exception of Independent School District in Boise City, analysts said, the largest seven rated school districts in Idaho received more than three-quarters of their revenue from state funding in 2015.

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