Adam Cotterell

News Reporter

Adam Cotterell returned to his home town of Boise, Idaho in 2007 after three years teaching university English in China. His plan was to teach high school drama and history, but in a move that almost makes him believe in destiny he took a part time job in Boise State Public Radio’s newsroom. He became a full time general assignments reporter in 2010. Adam's main focus is on covering education, but also enjoys doing all types of stories; from interviewing unique people to reporting on Boise's theatre scene.

Adam lives in Boise with his wife, daughter, and dog. He is also considered a pioneer in the art form abstract expressionist origami.

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Pre-K Education
6:59 am
Tue June 4, 2013

State Of Idaho Lags On Preschool, Districts Lead

In 2008 the Boise State Public Policy Center asked Idahoans for their opinions on early childhood issues including this question.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho is one of just 10 states that don’t have state-wide pre-kindergarten education. This week our education reporter Adam Cotterell brings us a series on pre-k in Idaho. Adam joined Morning Edition host Scott Graf to preview this week’s reports.

Transcript:

Scott Graf: You’ll be talking about the pre-k debate in Idaho. Are others talking about this issue?   

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Preschool
6:20 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Map: Idaho Is One Of 10 States Without Public Preschool

Explore the interactive map below.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho is one of 10 states that doesn't offer public preschool to children. Over the next few days we'll examine why the Gem State doesn't have free pre-k, what impact that's having on kids, and the current discussion around early childhood education in Idaho.

But first, here's a map that shows the 10 states without public preschool. The states shaded in coral don't offer preschool. One thing we noticed, they're mostly concentrated in the West. Use the zoom and arrow tools to move around the map and explore.

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Nampa Financial Crisis
11:53 am
Mon June 3, 2013

The Nampa Teachers’ Union Responds To District Furlough Offer

Amy White (seen here negotiating in Meridian last year) is representing the Nampa School District in negotiations.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Untenable, harmful, devastating; three adjectives Nampa Education Association president Mandy Simpson uses in response to the school district's contract offer. That offer includes 14 furlough days.

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Nampa Financial Crisis
3:03 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Nampa School District Offers Teachers 14 Furlough Days

Nampa elementary students learning math
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Nampa teachers’ union representatives sat down this morning to negotiate with a district hired attorney. They were expecting to talk about furlough days and other ways to climb out of the district's budget hole.  The district took the offensive with a contract offer that includes 14 furlough days in the 2013 /2014 school year. The offer does not allow raises that would have come from increased experience.

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Nampa Financial Crisis
10:49 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Nampa Teachers Will Negotiate A Pay Cut

Mandy Simpson
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Friday morning at 7:00 representatives from Nampa’s teachers’ union and the school district will sit down to negotiate next year’s labor agreement. These negotiations may be the last chance the district has to overcome a budget crisis that has dogged it all year.  

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Idaho Shakespeare Festival
10:07 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Supernatural Comedy Opens Idaho Shakespeare Festival Season

Blithe Spirit rehearsal at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival
Credit DKM Photography

The Idaho Shakespeare Festival opens its 2013 season this weekend. The organization “Americans for the Arts” estimates the festival put about $3.3 million into Idaho’s economy last year. More than 58,000 people spent an evening under the stars at the festival’s amphitheater in Boise last summer. Managers expect more than 60,000 this year.

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School Funding
3:39 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Lawsuit On Idaho’s Education Funding Gets Whittled Down

Russell Joki
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

What had been a sweeping lawsuit against Idaho over the constitutionality of its support for public schools is now much smaller.

A judge has ruled that retired educator Russell Joki and a group of parents cannot sue every school district in the state over charging fees for things like science classes or school registration.

District judge Richard Greenwood says Joki can only sue the Meridian School District where he paid his grandchildren's fees.  Joki says charging fees for classes violates Idaho’s constitutional requirement for free and uniform education.

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School Nutrition
5:57 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Idaho Schools Try Exotic Fruits Thanks To Grants

Credit MIGreenberg / Flickr Creative Commons

Each May the U.S. Department of Agriculture gives grants to elementary schools to provide healthy snacks. This year 113 Idaho schools received the awards. The program teaches kids at low income schools about nutrition and introduces them to unfamiliar foods.

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Summer Vacation
8:34 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Idaho Schools Count Down To Summer Break

The end of the day at a Boise elementary school.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Most Idaho schools are days away from summer vacation. Boise, Meridian and Kuna school districts will end the year this Friday.

May 31st is the most common last day this year. Nampa students finish a day earlier and Caldwell schools are already finished. 

Other districts like Blaine County and McCall-Donnelly continue classes through the first week of June. Twin Falls will go home halfway through next week.

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Boy Scouts
10:14 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Why One Idaho Parent Supports Lifting The Ban On Gay Boy Scouts

Tyler Cazier is a professional photographer, and a father of five. His 15 year old son is a boy scout and he says his three year old will be when he's old enough.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Boy Scouts of America voted Thursday to lift its ban on gay scouts. It left in place its ban on scout leaders who are gay. But in the Boy Scout’s Western Region a majority of councils recommended not changing either policy.

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Nampa Financial Crisis
6:13 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Nampa’s New School Board Too Late To Help With Financial Crisis

Outgoing board members Scott Kido (left) and Dale Wheeler debating eliminating positions in elementary music, PE and counseling. Wheeler opposed the idea. Kido said he would have voted yes but the issue did not come to a vote.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Elections this week have resulted in a major shakeup in Nampa’s school board. Voters elected two new members to the five person group largely prompted by the district’s ongoing financial crisis. The district blames accounting errors for a deficit of more than five million dollars. After a year of difficult cuts Nampa still has a long way to go to reach a balanced budget.

New school board member Mike Fuller has a handle on why it’s so difficult for the district to climb out of its financial hole.

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Mountain Lion
2:54 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Mountain Lion Blamed For Multiple Boise Dog Attacks, Two Deaths

Credit USFWS Mountain Prarie / Flickr Creative Commons

A mountain lion has likely attacked four dogs in Boise in the last month. Early Tuesday morning a woman reported seeing an animal attack her two dogs in her east Boise back yard. She thought it was a bobcat. One of the dogs was later found dead. Idaho Fish and Game officers examined bite marks on the body and on the injured animal and determined they came from a young mountain lion.

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Levies
10:57 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Salmon Voters Say No To A New School For The 9th Time

The Salmon School District did not get the super majority it needed to pass a bond for a new school. 901 district voters said no to the $14.6 million dollar bond for a new combination elementary and middle school. Just 645 people said yes. This was the 9th failed bond vote for the small district on the Montana border.

Unlike previous elections this ballot had an alternate bond proposal. It was $3.6 million dollars for safety upgrades to the existing schools. Voters rejected that even more definitively; 1,184 to 354.

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Education Spending
5:49 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Idaho Is Next To Last On Education Spending

Credit jcbwalsh / Flickr

Of the 50 states and the District of Columbia only Utah spends less on education than Idaho. A new report Tuesday from the U.S. Census Bureau says Idaho spent $6,824 for each student in its public schools in 2011. The National average is $10,560. New York tops the list spending $19,076.

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Levies
9:02 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Why The 9th Time May Be The Charm For The Salmon School District

The school Salmon district trustees want to build
Credit salmonschoolbond.com

The Salmon School District’s middle school is unsafe according to the state of Idaho. It has structural problems and a heavy snow could cave in parts of the roof. The 940 student district on the Montana Border has been trying for years to convince voters to pay for a new building. Tuesday Salmon weighs in on the issue for the 9th time.

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Terrorism Charges
5:39 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Accused Boise Terrorist Appears In Court, Next Hearing Tuesday

Boise's Federal Courthouse
Credit Id.uscourts.gov

An Uzbekistan national pleaded not guilty on three federal counts of terrorism Friday morning in Boise. Fazliddin Kurbanov was arrested Thursday at his Boise apartment. Adam Cotterell was in the court room and described Kurbanov to All Things Considered host Samantha Wright.

Transcript

Cotterell: I don’t think he’d stand out on the streets of Boise or on the Boise State campus for that matter. He’s 30 but looks a bit younger. A little taller than average. Stocky. Olive skin, short black hair, dark eye brows with maybe a couple weeks growth of beard.

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Terrorism Charges
11:02 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

U.S. Attorney: Kurbanov In Country Legally, Owned Explosives

Wendy Olson, U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A Boise man appears in federal court at 8:30 Friday morning on terrorism charges.  He was arrested Thursday in Boise at an apartment complex near Borah High School.

Wendy Olson is the U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho. She says the suspect is a national of the central Asian nation of Uzbekistan and legally in the U. S.

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Nampa School District
4:22 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

What’s Next For Nampa Schools After Superintendent Resigns, Teacher Postions Cut

Nampa elementary students
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Nampa School District voted Tuesday night to eliminate 27 teaching positions next fall. That’s the  latest cost cutting measure to overcome a more than $5 million deficit blamed on accounting errors.

But the state’s third largest school district has a way to go before it reaches a balanced budget next year. Adam Cotterell covers education and has covered Tuesday's  meeting. He talks with Samantha Wright about what’s next for Nampa schools.

Transcript

Wright: Adam I understand it was no ordinary school board meeting.

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Nampa School District
4:56 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Nampa Cuts 27 Teaching Positions, Takes 18 More Off The Chopping Block

Scott Kido
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Nampa School Board voted Tuesday night to leave 27 teaching jobs unfilled next fall (15 secondary and 12 elementary.) The jobs are opening due to retirements and resignations. It’s the latest step in a year-long effort to overcome a $5.1 million budget deficit blamed on accounting errors. The cuts will result in larger class sizes. In fourth grade for example, average class sizes will increase from 26 students to 32 students.

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Nampa Financial Crisis
5:02 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Nampa School District Could Cut 50 Teachers

Tom Michaelson retired to Nampa after a career as a superintendent in California schools. He took the Nampa job after the former superintendent resigned in the wake of the budget crisis.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Nampa School Board meets Tuesday to discuss the next steps in overcoming a $5.1 million budget deficit.

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