Idaho Education Association President Kari Overall issued the following statement in reaction to the first State of the State address delivered by new Idaho Governor Brad Little.
“We are pleased with Governor Little’s statement that public education will be the top priority of his administration and we look forward to working with him on budgeting and policy decisions that will make this aspiration a reality for Idaho’s students and teachers. The IEA has encouraged Gov. Little and other leaders to take a long-term approach to improving education, so we are glad to see him prioritize the convening of a new task force of stakeholders, including IEA representation, to move us forward as the initial five-year plan expires.
Idaho’s ability to recruit and retain quality teachers is the cornerstone of improving our public education system, so the governor’s request to increase the starting teacher salary allocation to $40,000 is a step in the right direction. We must also make every effort to keep our most experienced teachers in Idaho classrooms, and we will work with Gov. Little, the legislature, and other education stakeholders on appropriate compensation increases for these extremely valuable educators.
As Gov. Little pointed out, Idaho’s economy is strong, so now is the time to invest in programs that will help us keep pace with the growth our state is enjoying. That certainly includes a substantial investment in a public school system that was severely impacted by the recession and remains near the bottom of the nation in per-pupil funding. A robust public education system helps ensure a well-trained workforce and drives Idaho’s economic engine, along with paying benefits in a multitude of other areas.
There are many facets to improving our public education system, and the governor touched on several of them in his address. His proposed investments in literary proficiency, advanced opportunities, and scholarships are positive measures that can be beneficial to our students, schools, and communities.
The ideas laid out by the governor in his State of the State address are promising, but we all know there is much work to be done in the coming months of the session and in the years ahead. The IEA is dedicated to the potential of a brighter future for our students, teachers, and public schools. We look forward to working with Gov. Little on the steps necessary to reaching our shared vision of world-class public schools for all Idaho students.”
President, Idaho Education Association
Highlights of the Governor’s FY2020 budget proposal can be found here.
Click here for the full text of Gov. Little’s State of the State address.
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