Governor’s Task Force Holds Initial Meeting
Today marked the first meeting of Governor Otter’s Task Force for Improving Education. The group spent the majority of the day amassing a list of issues that must be addressed if Idaho hopes to ensure that 60% of Idahoans aged 25-34 will have a degree or certificate by 2020, the goal established several years ago by the State Board of Education.
Though no hard and fast decisions about education reform were decided at today’s meeting, the task force did learn that the labor relations elements that made up Proposition 1 are not going to be part of the task force’s conversation moving forward. After much deliberation, the task force also backed away from offering recommendations to the legislature about the more than $30 million in the FY 2013 budget that is unallocated since the repeal of the Students Come First laws.
The group plans to continue discussions at their next two meetings, scheduled for January 25 and February 8.
During this first week of the First Regular Session of the 62nd Idaho Legislature, we got a glimpse of some of the most compelling debates that will likely take place over the next few months. Will legislators agree with Governor Otter’s recommendation to create a state health insurance exchange? How will the legislature address the $30 million hole in the public schools budget after the repeal of Propositions 1,2, and 3? Will the legislature repeal all or part of the personal property tax? If so, what will the impact be for public schools?
These are just a few of the important questions to be answered over the next few months. Next week, we’ll delve more deeply into the issue of personal property tax repeal and the ramifications such action could have on school districts.
Next week, we can expect:
- The House and Senate Education Committees to complete their review of the education rules.
- The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/sessioninfo/2013/standingcommittees/jfac.pdf) began hearing from state agencies this week. Those presentations are expected to continue next week.