The Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy has released its annual report which shows that despite recent investments in public education by the legislature, Idaho is still lagging behind pre-recession levels. This is causing even more districts that need to raise more money through local levies. You can read the full report here, but two key takeaways are:
- General fund dollars for FY2017 are $343 per student below 2008 levels when indexed for inflation.
- The tax burden has shifted to local communities, with the number of local districts using supplemental levies growing from 41 in 1998 to 60 in 2006 to 94 (out of 115) in 2016.
DeVos Hearing Next Week—There is Still Time for Your Voice to Be Heard
State legislators are getting involved in the effort to convince U.S. Senators that Betsy DeVos is unqualified to be our Education Secretary. An online petition is circulating urging Senators to vote NO on DeVos next Tuesday. Tell your state legislator to sign the petition.
There is still time for you to call and voice your opinion. Call 855-882-6229 or use this form to send written comments. A DeVos confirmation could be disastrous for public education.
Committees Streamlining Idaho Code
Most of the work done in the House and Senate Education Committees this session has focused on cleaning up inconsistencies and removing outdated language in Idaho Code. Both committees have heard rules and legislation from the State Department of Education and the State Board of Education to clarify statue and code from previous sessions. Lawmakers should begin hearing policy legislation as early as next week.
Rules on Science Standards to be Reviewed in Mid-February
The State Board of Education will meet February 15th and 16th to consider new science standards for Idaho classrooms. If the standards are approved by the Board, then the House and Senate Education Committees will consider them. Both committees will have the option to adopt, reject, or remove sections of the standards once they are presented. The Idaho Science Standards are reviewed and revised every 5 years by Idaho classroom teachers. Last year, the House Education Committee rejected the science and humanities standards due to lack of public input.
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