IEA Calls for New Enrollment-Based School Funding Rule

The Idaho Education Association, this week, called upon the Idaho State Board of Education to issue a temporary rule ordering state funding for public schools to be based upon school enrollment, rather than the less predictable measure of average daily attendance.

A current temporary rule, instituted by the SBOE at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to expire this year and legislation codifying this change in perpetuity was vetoed last month, making an extension of the rule necessary IEA Associate Director Matt Compton argued in a letter to the SBOE this week.

“For years, education stakeholders in Idaho have discussed the benefits of shifting Idaho’s education funding formula from average daily attendance to enrollment,” Compton wrote. “Like many things in our lives, however, it took the pandemic to help crystalize just how important this shift is for our public schools and students.”

The existing rule “provided badly-needed stability and predictability for school budgets” when school attendance was highly unpredictable.

Beyond adoption of a new temporary rule, Compton noted that IEA members are also “keenly interested in a permanent and data-based policy solution that replaces attendance-based funding for our public schools.”

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