Education

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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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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Education
1:12 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Rural Idaho Community Divided Over Failed School Levy

A school event in Lapwai
Credit facebook.com/pages/Lapwai-School-District

A school superintendent in northern Idaho says the reason his district hasn't had music classes in more than a year, and will soon switch to virtual gym classes, is as much about the difficulty of attracting and retaining qualified teachers in rural areas as it is about funding.

The story of Lapwai School District's  funding problems has been picked up by just about every news outlet in the state.

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Education
1:45 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Idaho's Superintendent Luna Proposes Largest School Budget Increase Yet

Credit Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna is proposing a 6.9 percent budget increase to Idaho's public school funding for 2015. Luna says the budget calls for the largest spending increase he's ever proposed in his nearly eight-year tenure.  

Luna unveiled his budget Tuesday to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and legislative leadership. However, because Luna isn't seeking a third-term, it'll be the winner of the November election who will be tasked with selling the $94 million budget increase to lawmakers during the next legislative session.

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Education
9:46 am
Tue September 2, 2014

High School Students Will Take Virtual Gym Class In Small Idaho Town

Credit newfilm.dk / Flickr Creative Commons

High school students in a north-central Idaho town will have to take gym classes through an online program this year after a school levy failed.

Lapwai School District Superintendent David Aiken told the Lewiston Tribune the district can't afford to hire a physical education teacher, so students will have to take PE through the Idaho Digital Learning Academy, a state-sponsored online school. Students will have access to the school gym and equipment, but Aiken said the teacher would be on the other side of the computer.

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Education
11:30 am
Thu August 28, 2014

After Failed Bond, West Ada School District Will Try Again

A row of portable buildings sit outside Lake Hazel Middle School, the West Ada School District's most crowded middle school.
Credit Idaho Education News

The West Ada School District will run another bond issue in an attempt to ease overcrowding issues.

But first, district officials want to look at the ingredients of a bond proposal — and crunch the precinct-by-precinct numbers from Tuesday’s vote.

“The kids aren’t going away and the need isn’t going to decrease,” West Ada Superintendent Linda Clark said Wednesday.

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Education Funding
11:15 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Voters Reject $104 Million Bond For Idaho's Largest School District

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A $104 million bond that would have helped the West Ada School District address overcrowding failed Tuesday. It needed a two-thirds super majority to pass, but failed with 63 percent of the vote.

The Idaho Statesman reports the school's superintendent says overcrowding won't be going away, and the district will need to attempt the bond measure again.

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Education
1:24 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Idaho Schools Chief Tom Luna Takes Nonprofit Job

Luna announced earlier this year that he wouldn't run for re-election.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

When State Superintendent Tom Luna leaves office in 2015, he will join a nonprofit education vendor.

Luna will join Project Lead The Way, an Indianapolis-based organization providing programs and teacher training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — the so-called “STEM” fields. Luna will be the nonprofit’s vice president of policy, advocacy and research.

Luna will oversee four regional directors, as well as a team of policy analysts and researchers.

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Education
2:20 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Despite 'Go-On' Campaign, Fewer Idaho High School Students Head To College

Credit Karen Apricot New Orleans / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho’s go-on rate apparently is going downward.

That’s the startling, sobering message from the latest round of numbers from the National Student Clearinghouse.

Just under 52 percent of Idaho’s 2013 high school graduates have enrolled in two-or four-year college, according to the current clearinghouse numbers. This represents a drop from Idaho’s lackluster 2012 numbers, when 54 percent of graduates decided to continue their education.

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Education
6:44 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Northwest States Vary On 'No Child Left Behind' Waivers

Oregon is waiting to hear whether its application for a continued federal waiver from the No Child Left Behind law will be approved.

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Higher Education
12:56 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

How The Upward Bound College Program Helped One Idahoan Change His Life

Leo Morales
Credit Photo curtesy ACLU of Idaho

Boise State University this week is joining hundreds of colleges and universities around the country to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a program that helps kids go on to college. Upward Bound recruits low-income kids who would be the first in their families to go to college. More than 2 million people have participated in the last half-century.

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Policy
12:27 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Idaho Endowment Fund Hits Record $1.7 Billion

Idaho's endowment fund hit a record high of $1.73 billion after earning high returns on its investments over the past year.

Investment manager Larry Johnson told the Idaho Land Board on Tuesday that the fund during the fiscal year that ended June 30 earned its second-highest amount in its history.

This is also the second year in a row the fund hit an all-time high.

That means there will be an increase in how much the fund can distribute to public schools and other endowment beneficiaries.

Education
8:26 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Idaho’s Largest School District To Change Its Name

Idaho’s largest school district is changing its name. The Meridian school board voted Tuesday night to adopt the name West Ada School District, according to the Meridian Press.

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Education
6:37 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Idaho Students Looking At A Re-do After Charter School Falls Short

About 30 high school freshmen and sophomores who attended Odyssey Charter School in Idaho Falls, Idaho, may have to repeat classes -- or even an entire grade -- next year after the Idaho Public Charter School Commission found their fledgling school failed to measure up.

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Lawsuit
11:54 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Feds Sue For-Profit College In Idaho, Utah Over Recruiting Policy

The federal government is suing a for-profit college chain in Idaho and Utah because prosecutors say the school illegally recruited students.

U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson announced the False Claims Act lawsuit against Stevens-Henager College Inc. and its owner, The Center for Excellence in Higher Education, on Thursday.

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Education
9:50 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Little Change In National 12th-Grade Math, Reading Scores

Score gains for math and reading among high school seniors in 11 pilot states.

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 6:44 pm

The federal government just released its latest national test scores for high school seniors and it’s not good news. A significant number of graduates are below standard for math and reading.

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Election 2014
9:43 am
Thu May 8, 2014

GOP Schools Chief Candidate John Eynon Against Common Core, Public Preschool

Credit Courtesy John Eynon

John Eynon’s career path has taken several abrupt turns — from teaching music to serving as a U.S. Navy commander to working for major textbook publishers and back.

The Cottonwood high school teacher is planning his retirement from the classroom, while contemplating another career change. He is one of four Republicans seeking to succeed state schools superintendent Tom Luna.

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