Science Standards in Senate Education Committee Thursday
The Senate Education Committee will review Idaho’s science standards during their meeting Thursday, starting at 3:00 in room WW55. Those standards have been a lightning rod for discussion and controversy the last couple of years; most recently when the House Education Committee voted to remove five passages referring to climate change during their meeting on February 9. As we shared in a previous Hotline, IEA member and 2016 Idaho Teacher of the Year Melyssa Ferro co-chaired the committee that revised the standards following push-back from the legislature in 2015, and was less-than-thrilled about the action taken by the House Education Committee.
Options for the Senate Education Committee include approving the science standards in their original form, approve them with the changes made by House Ed, make changes of their own, or scuttle them completely, which would mean reverting back to standards established in 2001. Audio streaming of Thursday’s Senate Education Committee meeting can be found here. You are encouraged to share your opinion on the science standards with members of the Senate Education Committee.
Let JFAC Know Your Opinion—Budget-setting for K-12 Monday
We also encourage professional educators to contact members of JFAC in advance of Monday’s meeting to set the K-12 public education budget. Let them know what they should prioritize—Career Ladder, discretionary/operational funding, technology, counseling, literacy programs, etc. A major point of discussion will be rising health insurance costs, so let them know you want them to approach that important issue (for context, we wrote about this in the Hotline earlier this week).
Extolling the Virtues of Early Childhood Education
Professional educators, business leaders, law enforcement officials and many others spoke in favor early childhood education (Pre-K) in a hearing at the Capitol Wednesday. Several legislators participated or were in attendance as the long-term value of pre-K was emphasized, but no specific plan was put forth. Idaho is one of only six states that does not provide any state funding for early childhood education, but it is possible that the tide may be turning. Read more about the meeting in this story from Clark Corbin of Idaho Education News.