The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) will get down to the nitty-gritty of its business of setting the FY 17 public school budget next week. Committee members will take into consideration all of the information and testimony received from last week’s public hearing and from the state superintendent and the governor as they build next year’s budget.
The IEA and other education stakeholders have consistently told JFAC that it is imperative that they fully fund the second year of the Career Ladder and restore operational/discretionary funding that was cut during the recession. Funding for professional development and mentoring, college and career counseling, early childhood literacy, and other specific programs is also critical.
Please contact members of JFAC and strongly encourage them to take a step forward on behalf of students, teachers and communities throughout Idaho. Ask them to fully fund the Career Ladder, set aside resources for districts to provide professional development, including funding for mentoring support for those newest to the profession, and to increase district operational funds to at least 2009 levels. The future of our children and the state’s economic prosperity depend on it.
House Passes One Early Literacy Bill, Weighs Another
HB 451 was the subject of much debate and discussion, but ultimately it passed the House with just one dissenting vote. The bill requires districts to notify parents when students receive low scores on reading tests in grades K-3. This bill is part of a larger statewide initiative to provide early intervention and improve literacy rates in young children.
HB 526, which passed the House Education Committee yesterday and could be voted on by full House as early as tomorrow, requires expanded interventions for K-3 students reading below grade level, provides funding for those local interventions, and outlines the requirements for identification of skills that must be tested on the state’s reading assessment. HB 526 comes as a result of the governor’s task force and requires a minimum investment of $10.7 million in the next year.
Media Coverage—BSD Criticism of “Don’t Fail Idaho”
Boise School District Superintendent Dr. Don Coberly and the BSD school board have levied criticism against the “Don’t Fail Idaho” campaign and the organization behind it, the J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation. They did so in a communication to BSD employees and through an op-ed piece that has appeared in multiple publications.
Several media outlets have done stories on this topic. A sampling of those stories can be seen via the links below.
Betsy Russell of the Spokesman Review also uncovered a 2011 article from the Associated Press archives that delved into how the Albertson Foundation leveraged Idaho taxpayers to direct business toward one of their key investments, K12 Inc.