Education

Technology
2:29 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Idaho Asks Judge To Reconsider School Broadband Ruling

Credit Scott Woods-Fehr / Flickr Creative Commons

The state is asking a judge to take another look at his decision to void the $60 million Idaho Education Network broadband contract.

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Education
10:19 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Idaho Broadband Contract Legal Fees Nearing $1 Million

Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's legal fees so far to defend the now-voided Idaho Education Network high school broadband service contract are about $870,000.

The Idaho Department of Administration tells The Spokesman Review in a story on Friday that it has paid about $600,000 in legal fees to date.

The Idaho Attorney General's Office says it has spent about $270,000.

A judge in Boise voided the $60 million statewide contract Tuesday after finding the Idaho Department of Administration violated the state's procurement law.

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Education
2:58 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Idaho Schools In Limbo Following Broadband Ruling

An Idaho school official says high school students relying on the Idaho Education Network to complete a state-required math course may not be able to graduate now that the broadband contract is void.

Earlier this week, a judge tossed out Idaho's $60 million school broadband contract. Fourth District Judge Patrick Owen ruled Tuesday that it wasn't legally struck.

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School Technology
10:56 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Idaho Judge Tosses School Broadband Contract

Credit Sean MacEntee / Flickr Creative Commons

In a ruling that could have major implications for broadband service in schools — and a multimillion-dollar price tag for  Idaho taxpayers — a District Court judge has tossed out Idaho’s $60 million school broadband contract.

The disputed Idaho Education Network contract was declared void late Monday afternoon by 4th District Court judge Patrick Owen.

Owen sharply criticized the state Department of Administration for continuing to try to salvage the 2009 contract, after carving Syringa Networks out of the deal to provide broadband to 219 high schools across the state.

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Higher Education
2:06 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Idaho Universities Reveal Latest Enrollment Numbers (Hint: 1 Up, 2 Down)

Some of Boise State's 22,000 plus students walking to class.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise State University has more students this fall than it did fall 2013, but Idaho State University and the University of Idaho have fewer. All three of Idaho’s public universities saw substantial growth during the height of the Great Recession. But for the last few years the trend has been declining enrollment.

Boise State

Total enrollment – 22,259

Idaho’s largest public university grew by a little more than 1 percent after two years of declining enrollment.

University of Idaho

Total enrollment – 11,534

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Education
9:45 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Report Finds Treasure Valley Students Show Little Or No Growth

Credit FlickingerBrad / Flickr Creative Commons

A student-performance report from Treasure Valley schools shows stagnant growth in 11 indicators, ranging from school readiness to obtaining a post-secondary degree.

The Treasure Valley Education Partnership (TVEP) released its “Report to the Community” Wednesday, and most numbers were disappointing.

“We have a lot of work to do,” said TVEP chairman Rich Raimondi, president at Bishop Kelly High School. “We first want to be open and transparent about our baseline. I think we will see (increases) in the next couple of years.”

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Education
1:26 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Southern Idaho School District

The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho has filed a lawsuit against a south-central Idaho school district accusing it of sexually and religiously discriminating against a student.

The Times-News reports that Declo High School and Cassia County School District denied senior Sierra Norman the opportunity to run for student body president last spring.

School officials argue Norman took too many online dual-credit classes to qualify as a full-time student.

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Election 2014
6:45 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Republican Ybarra Dismisses Controversies As 'Campaign Rhetoric'

Sherri Ybarra
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Republican Sherri Ybarra says her at-times bumpy campaign for Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction is a result of increased public scrutiny on a political newcomer. But the school administrator from Mountain Home says she understands the focus that's on her comes with a run for public office.

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Election 2014
9:49 am
Mon October 20, 2014

What's The Biggest Issue Facing Idaho Schools? Jana Jones Says There Are Two

Jana Jones ran for superintendent of schools in 2006 and was defeated by Tom Luna.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Democrat running to be Idaho’s next Superintendent of Public Instruction says funding and low morale are the two biggest issues facing Idaho’s schools.

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Education
4:13 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Idaho High School Students Lag Behind On SAT Scores, AP Scores Improve

Credit DerekBruff / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho high school students showed improvement on Advanced Placement tests, but lag well behind national benchmarks on the SAT college placement exam.

Those are two key findings from national results issued Tuesday.

The College Board, a New York-based nonprofit, released scores for the three sets of tests it administers: the AP exams, the SAT and the PSAT/NMSQT, a practice test for the SAT.

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Education
2:14 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Gov. Otter Says Plan To Boost Teacher Pay Is In Budget Draft

Credit State of Idaho

Gov. Butch Otter says his 2015-16 budget blueprint has money set aside to launch a career ladder program to boost teacher pay.

“It’s within our parameters,” Otter said in a Wednesday interview with Idaho Education News. “I have every confidence that we will get the first year.”

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Education
4:27 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Idaho High School Students Gather In Boise To Solve The World’s Problems

Today’s teenagers will soon inherit all of the worlds’ big problems. So why not enlist their help in solving them? That’s the idea behind the 24 Hour Think Challenge sponsored by the J.A. And Kathryn Albertson Foundation and the student leadership organization One Stone.

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Education
5:30 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Idaho Teachers Push Back Against Plan To Change How They Get Licensed

Credit joanne johnson / Flickr Creative Commons

Those who follow education and politics in Idaho will probably be hearing the phrase ‘tiered licensure’ a lot in the next few months. The idea is to create different levels of teaching licenses.  Idaho Education News reporter Clark Corbin has been following the issue closely. Corbin says the plan has many teachers worried.

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Education
5:51 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Idaho College Gets $6.4M Grant To Train Health Care Workers

Coeur d’Alene's North Idaho College received a major grant Monday to train people in rural areas for hard-to-fill jobs in the health care industry.

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Election 2014
4:36 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Idaho Schools Chief Candidates Meet For Third Debate

Idaho should “explore” a more aggressive Internet sales tax, Jana Jones said Friday.

Sherri Ybarra, meanwhile, sidestepped the question, saying tax policy is wholly the job of the Legislature.

In their third head-to-head meeting of the week, the two state superintendent’s candidates didn’t break new ground — and, once again, they generally agreed on many issues.

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Religion
12:31 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Mormon Church Raises Requirements For High School Seminary Students

Seminary in Provo, Utah.
Credit Ben McKune / Flickr Creative Commons

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is raising the bar for high school students enrolled in seminary, adding tests and reading requirements to a program that previously just required attendance.

Church-run seminary classes are geared toward students ages 14 to 18 and overview the Mormon scriptures in 50-minute, daily sessions typically held at a home or LDS meetinghouse in the mornings before regular high school classes begin.

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Education
2:04 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Why Idaho's Graduation Rate Has Dropped To A 10-Year Low

Credit GadgetDude / Flickr Creative Commons

In 2012-13, Idaho’s high school graduation rate dropped to its lowest point in a decade.

The numbers — the most recent available — largely reflect a bookkeeping change. The federal government wants schools to do a better job of tracking students who leave the education system, even if they just transfer to another school; any students who fall through the cracks will be listed as dropouts.

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School Funding
4:25 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Idaho Voters Tax Themselves $1 Billion To Fill School Budget Holes

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Since July 1, 2007 — and during Butch Otter’s two terms as governor — school districts have backfilled their budgets with more than $1 billion in supplemental property tax levies.

The amount of the levies has steadily grown during Otter’s first eight years in office. So too has districts’ reliance on these short-term voter-approved levies.

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Gun Rights
11:49 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Boise State Agrees To Change Event Policies In Face Of Possible Lawsuit

Boise State University officials say they will change their on-campus event policies after facing a possible lawsuit from private legal organizations.

The Idaho Freedom Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho had accused the university of violating the First Amendment after it charged a student organization security fees for a gun-rights event earlier this year.

University officials had already reimbursed the students $465 but they say will now suspend the policies that allow them to charge for enhanced security.

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Teacher Pay
3:45 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Idaho Task Force Seeks Higher Teacher Salaries

Credit BES Photos / Flickr Creative Commons

A state task force says reforming Idaho's teaching certification must be tied to increasing salaries in order to attract and retain quality teachers in public schools.

The 15-member committee spent most of Monday discussing details of implementing a new teacher pay system commonly known as the career ladder.

However, some members worry that state lawmakers will approve tougher certification requirements without providing funding for higher salaries.

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