Idaho State Board of Education President Emma Atchley told the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee on Monday that they are supportive of the Career Ladder, and are encouraging the legislature to fully fund year three of Idaho’s teacher salary allocation plan. Atchley also indicated that the State Board is throwing their support behind Governor Otter’s proposed education budget, which called for a 6.4% increase in K-12 funding. The governor’s proposal varies somewhat from that of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra, who will formally present her budget proposal to JFAC on Thursday. A recent story in Idaho Education News pointed out the differences in the two proposals.
DeVos Vote Delayed Until January 31
After an initial hearing filled with mistakes and missteps, federal Education Secretary Nominee Betsy DeVos has had her confirmation vote in the Senate pushed back until January 31. Senate Democrats are requesting a second hearing with DeVos after the first one was inexplicably cut short. Concerned citizens, including many professional educators, have flooded Senate offices with calls, e-mails and letters opposing the confirmation of DeVos. She is an unabashed proponent of privatizing public schools, which would undercut school resources and threaten the basic concept of “Opportunity for Every Child”. The IEA, NEA and many other educations groups strongly oppose the confirmation of Betsy DeVos. Here is a letter from NEA Director of Government Relations Marc Egan to the U.S. Senate, outlining some of the reasons why DeVos would be a disaster as Education Secretary.
There is still time to make your voice heard and tell the Senate to reject Betsy DeVos as unqualified for the important position of Education Secretary. Call your Idaho Senator today! Jim Risch 202-224-2752. Mike Crapo 202-224-6142.
State Department of Education Hosts Open House
Despite more snow on Monday, there was a good turnout for the open house at the capitol hosted by Superintendent Ybarra. The gathering included tables with information about several of the State Department of Education’s programs and initiatives, including Career and Technical Readiness, Mastery Based Education, Special Education, and Reading Proficiency.
Career and Technical Readiness falls under the umbrella of the state’s Advanced Opportunities department, which has been a heavily-emphasized initiative as part of the Governor’s Task Force recommendations. Dual credit courses that give students a head start on their college experience and cut costs for students and parents are part of the program. The Times-News in Twin Falls has a story on how those courses are having an impact.