On the national education front, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, faced questions from Senators in her confirmation hearing. The Idaho Education Association strenuously opposes the confirmation of DeVos for several reasons…
- She has made it clear that dismantling public education is her top priority
- She does not believe that charter schools should be held to the same level of accountability as public schools
- She has numerous conflicts of interest, including huge campaign donations to many of the elected officials who are debating her approval
- She is intent on instituting a conservative, faith-based approach to education and has been insensitive to special needs, LGBT and other groups of students who do not fit her narrow profile
- She is unqualified, with zero experience working in a public education setting, while both she and her own children attended expensive private schools
Many of the deficiencies have been brought to light in her Senate testimony. Here is a sampling of news coverage.
Idaho Democrats Propose Loan Forgiveness Plan for Teachers in Rural/High-poverty Schools
Meanwhile back in Boise, IEA member and newly-elected Representative Sally Toone (D-Gooding) was among the Democratic legislators who fronted a plan that would enable teachers to receive up to $12,000 in loan forgiveness over a four-year period, provided they work in high-poverty or low-performing rural districts. Idaho Education News has more details on the proposal.
Budget Analysts Say Idaho Needs 99 more Support Units
In yesterday’s Hotline we reported that the governor’s office was projecting an increase from $58 million to $62 million in year three of the Career Ladder. Today it was revealed that unexpected enrollment growth means that Idaho needs to account for an additional 99 support units on top of the 179 new support units that Governor Otter had used in his recent budget proposal. That amounts to about $8.5 million in additional education investment, including the $4 million increase in the Career Ladder. Kevin Richert of Idaho Ed News has more details.
Work on Rules Continues in Education Committees
The Senate Education Committee and sub-committees of the House Education Committee continued to slog through a number of education rules on Wednesday. They have not yet discussed two of the most noteworthy rules for professional educators—science standards and an important certification and endorsement rule. Stay tuned for more information when it becomes available.