This IEA Hotline recaps the work of the Governor’s K-12 Task Force. Look for the Hotline leading up to and during the 2020 Idaho legislative session.
The K-12 task force, Our Kids, Idaho’s Future, took some positive steps forward recently in announcing a series of recommendations that will be forwarded to Governor Little for use in setting his policy and funding priorities for the 2020 legislative session and beyond. While the recommendations have the potential to make a positive impact on our public schools, they can’t and won’t do that unless there is follow-through from the legislature and education agencies.
Act now to make sure these decision-makers know the task force recommendations have our support and that we expect them to be implemented. Contact your legislator directly or let us know your plan to take action on behalf of Idaho students, educators, and communities.
The recommendations were developed by a team of elected officials, business leaders, and professional educators, including IEA President Kari Overall and 2019 Idaho Teacher of the Year Marc Beitia. Several other IEA members served on task force subcommittees related to the educator pipeline, school facilities and safety, rural and underserved schools, and K-12 budget stability.
The K-12 task force voted to move forward with these recommendations after exhaustive research and discussion. They took into consideration comments and insight from classroom teachers, administrators, school board members, parents, and business/community leaders. Governor Little has made it clear that public education is his top priority, and he convened the cross-section of interested parties with the goal of effective investment in our schools.
Here are the primary recommendations from the K-12 task force:
- Statewide accountability: Focusing our efforts on K-3 literacy. This would provide school boards, communities, and school leadership with guidance and resources to meet growth targets for K-3 literacy.
- Greater all-day kindergarten opportunities. It would create additional, optional full-day kindergarten opportunities to ensure more students have the necessary foundation to be successful in ensuing grades. Additional resources aimed at intervention and promoting early literacy.
- Building out and updating the career ladder salary allocation program to retain effective educators. Provide more resources to school districts so they can establish more competitive salaries for Idaho’s most experienced and effective educators. A goal of establishing career ladder allocation rungs at $40,000, $50,000, and $60,000 to be phased in over several years.
- Addressing social and emotional issues to support student learning. Provide resources and professional development around better serving students facing social and emotional challenges, including trauma and mental illness.
- Strategic alignment and increased flexibility in K-12 funding.Collapse some line-items and provide more financial flexibility for school districts and charter schools. Retain initiatives such as Advanced Opportunities, literacy intervention, and college/career counselors, but make updates to improve their effectiveness and accountability.