Next week is being billed as “education week” at the statehouse. Early each January, lawmakers shine the spotlight on all levels of our state’s public education system. It’s an opportunity for lawmakers to learn more about the many programs each of these important institutions are implementing to help ensure greater student achievement.
Education week kicks off on Monday in the House and Senate Education Committees with a presentation from Katie Pemberton, Idaho’s 2012 Teacher of the Year. Katie teaches math at Canfield Middle School in Coeur d’Alene.
Throughout the week, college and university presidents and education deans, community college presidents, the State Board of Education, and the superintendent of public instruction will all be making their funding pitches to members of the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC). Superintendent Luna will be sharing his budget request for public schools on Thursday.
Education Committees are expected to conclude their rules reviews next week, and move on to with presentations on important education topics and the introduction of legislation. The Senate Education Committee is expected to be asked to print their first bill on Monday.
Education Week activities conclude with the second meeting of Governor Otter’s education task force on Friday. IEA members Cindy Wilson (Meridian), Teresa Jackman (Pocatello), and Brian Smith (Sandpoint) will be representing the IEA at Friday’s meeting.
Martin Luther King Day observations Monday
Though many state agencies have the day off, the Idaho legislature will be in session on Monday. Observances at the capital will occur on the second floor, and will feature Rev. Percy Happy Watkins, pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church in Spokane, Washington. Rev. Watkins is known for his rendition of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which he will deliver as part of the celebration. Read more about the celebration here.
MLK/Human Rights Day has become a day of service for many. If you’d like to learn where you can volunteer in your community, see http://mlkday.gov/
Public hearings on state budget canceled
Eye on Boise reported today that the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee hearings set for February to take public testimony on the state budget have been canceled, apparently at the urging of House leadership.