In this exclusive IEA REPORTER interview, Gov. Brad Little talks with IEA Communications Director Dave Harbison about some of the most pressing issues facing education in Idaho. With lingering uncertainty because of COVID-19 and the soft closure of public schools, the governor makes it clear that education is still his top priority and that he is focused on minimizing the repercussions of the public health crisis. He weighs in on several important topics, including…
- Protecting the health of educators and students
- Urging local school districts to “do the right thing” and utilize their rainy day reserves
- Not wanting the 2020-21 school year to “have an asterisk” because of COVID-19
- What he and other officials learned from the Great Recession that can help minimize the impact of the current economic downturn
- What happens to the new Advanced Professional Educator pay structure as a result of statewide budget holdbacks
- Staying focused on improvements in addressing the mental and emotional health of students
We thank Gov. Little for taking the time to share both short-term and long-term visions for public education in Idaho. Educators, students, parents, and patrons all have many legitimate questions in the wake of the public health crisis, and this discussion serves as a starting point for finding answers.