Nation's Report Card
4:15 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Nation’s Report Card Shows Idaho Hispanic Students Improve In Reading

Credit screenshot /

New numbers out this week from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) show Hispanic students in Idaho making big improvements in reading. The NAEP from The U.S. Department of Education is known as “The Nation’s Report Card.” Its periodic assessments look at how students are doing on standardized tests in various subjects. The most recent report looks at reading vocabulary scores of fourth and eighth graders in 2011.

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School Funding
10:49 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Idaho Lawmakers Uncertain About School Funding

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

This week we’ve been following a new lawsuit that alleges Idaho is not meeting its constitutional duty to adequately fund schools. Also this week Governor Butch Otter turned heads when he was asked if the state was living up to the constitution in that area.

“I would say probably not, but we’re doing the best job that we can,” Otter responded.

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School Funding
11:31 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Why Idaho Is Being Sued Over School Funding When Courts Already Ruled System Must Be Fixed

Credit Karen Apricot New Orleans / Flickr Creative Commons

A group of parents filed a lawsuit in October over fees in Idaho schools. They say charging fees for classes like science or art violates the state constitution. But to take on the state to change the education system they needed the right lawyer. They found Robert Huntley.

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Propositions 1, 2, 3
6:06 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Idaho Governor Says Lawmakers Will Revive Parts of Education Laws Voters Rejected

Idaho Governor Butch Otter in his office last year.
Credit Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Idaho Governor Butch Otter spent Wednesday afternoon discussing the coming legislative session at a meeting of the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho. Otter told the crowd lawmakers would revisit the education laws voters rejected last month. That’s despite the fact that Propositions 1, 2, and 3 were defeated by wide margins.

“I do believe that we will see parts of Proposition 1, the management plan, proposition 2, the pay for performance, and proposition 3, the high tech,” Otter said. “I think you’ll see parts and pieces of all of those come back at us.”   

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School Funding
5:53 am
Wed December 5, 2012

School Fees Lawsuit Could Change Idaho’s Education Landscape


We first heard from Russel Joki two months ago when he and a group of parents filed a lawsuit against the state and its school districts.  Joki says the genesis of the suit came when he registered his grandson at Meridian High School.

“He was charged fees to take a chemistry class, to take a sports medicine class,” he recalls. “He was charged fees to enroll in art classes.”  

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High School Graduation
10:49 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Nate Silver Meets Recess: Crunching Data In Schools

Guidance counselor Linda Delaney uses the Early Warning System regularly to check stats on students and look for warning signs.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The kind of finely tuned data crunching that fueled the 2012 election is spreading to another venue: the classroom. You might have heard that campaign analysts can predict who you're likely vote for based on the magazines you read and the car you drive. Now, researchers are finding ways to predict who's likely to drop out of high school based on, say, a third grade attendance record. Schools hope a computer program will help them reach kids before it's too late.

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2013 Legislature
2:01 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Tax Breaks Could Send Idaho Kids To Parochial Schools

Credit Albertogp123 / Flickr

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho just finished a bruising debate over reforming public education, with voters rejecting public schools chief Tom Luna's overhaul.

Come 2013, the Legislature is likely to discuss an education policy change not in that package but potentially as contentious: whether Idaho should offer tax credits to those who donate to scholarship programs meant to help students attend private or parochial schools.

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Blaine County School District
12:13 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Idaho School District Asks For Damages In Old Lawsuit, Cites New Evidence


An Idaho school district is asking for more money in an ongoing court battle with a contractor.

The Blaine County School district and Seattle based McKinstry have sued each other over several million dollars’ worth of upgrades the company performed on district buildings. McKinstry says it’s owed money, and the district claims the company did unauthorized work.

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Boise State University
5:50 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Boise State Adopts New Logo

Boise State employees received letters this week announcing the new logo. Each contained a lapel pin of the new B.
Adam Cotterell Boise State Public Radio

This week Boise State University announced it will change its logo from the diamond shape that has been in place since 2001 to what it calls a "forward moving B." Take a look at our slide show to learn more.

Propositions 1, 2, 3
10:23 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Some Idaho School Districts Could Lose Millions After Voters Repeal Education Laws

Credit Images_Of_Money / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho’s Department of Education says the repeal of the Students Come First education laws means a $23 million cut for the state’s schools. It took the department time to come up with that number after voters rejected the laws early this month through ballot propositions 1, 2 and 3.

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Nampa Financial Crisis
1:32 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Nampa School District Won’t Replace Resigning Deputy Superintendent

Credit Renato Ganoza / Flickr Creative Commons

The Nampa School District won’t replace its deputy superintendent. Josh Jensen resigned this week from the troubled district’s number two position. Accounting errors have left Nampa in a budget hole near $4.5 million. The district’s Superintendent resigned two months ago. The new interim superintendent starts next week. In an e-mail to employees Tuesday a Nampa spokesperson said the district has accepted Jensen’s resignation effective immediately. It continues:

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Online Classes
4:03 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Idaho High School Students Won't Be Required To Take Online Classes

Board member Milford Terrell, (at table left) state employees and journalists were the only ones to attend Monday's meeting in person. All seven other members of the board participated by phone.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho high school students won't have to take online classes to graduate. The State Board of Education repealed a rule Monday that required them.

Voters rejected the Students Come First laws on November 6 but one of those laws had a twist. It required the board of education to set the online class requirement, which it did. That requirement was still in place despite the laws' repeal.  The Idaho Legislature still has to sign off but, board spokesperson Marilyn Whitney says students should consider it gone.

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Nampa Financial Crisis
9:48 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Committee Has Ideas, Few Recommendations To Fix Nampa School Budget Crisis

Credit Philip Taylor / Flickr Creative Commons

The Nampa School District is mired in a serious budget crisis. Accounting errors discovered last summer have put the state’s third largest district deep in the red. The deficit is now believed to be more than $4 million.

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Rhodes Scholars
8:45 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Two Idaho Students Selected as Rhodes Scholars

Amanda Frickle
Credit College of Idaho

Two students with ties to Idaho have been selected as Rhodes Scholars. 22 year-old Joseph Thiel and 23 year-old Amanda Frickle were announced as winners of the prestigious honor Sunday.

Thiel is originally from Idaho Falls. He now lives in Boise and is a senior chemical engineering and liberal studies major at Montana State University. He plans to study economics for development while at Oxford University.

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4:41 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

State Says Prop 1, 2, 3 ‘No’ Vote Means $36 Million Cut For Idaho Schools…For Now

On Nov. 6 Idaho voters repealed a trio of education laws that were put into place in 2011.
Credit Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

Idaho school Superintendent Tom Luna said this week the voter repeal of his education laws would mean a financial hit to districts. Today his department released an estimate of that impact. It says the Nov.

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Education Reform
5:36 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Teachers’ Union And Governor’s Office To Talk About Next Steps For Idaho Education Reform

Penni Cyr addressing Students Come First opponents the day after voters rejected the laws.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Since Idaho voters rejected the Students Come First education laws last week, both sides have spoken about the need to cooperate. A first step in that direction happens Wednesday. Idaho Governor Butch Otter - one of the chief bakers of the laws - has invited representatives from the state’s teachers union, the IEA to come to the capitol.

The IEA worked to overturn Students Come First. Otter spokesman Jon Hanian says the governor wants to create changes to the state’s education system Idahoan’s will support.

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Students Come First
3:54 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Idaho Teachers Can Still Get Bonuses Says State Attorney General

Idaho teachers will still get about $38 million in merit-pay bonuses this year even though voters' rejected three education laws.
Credit Staff / Idaho Statesman

Idaho teachers will still get about $38 million in merit-pay bonuses this year. That’s despite voters' rejection of public schools chief Tom Luna's education overhaul.

The Idaho attorney general says the failure at the polls shouldn't affect the payout.

In an opinion made public Monday, deputy attorney general Andrew Snook wrote that teachers who qualified for the bonuses earned them for the 2011-2012 school year — before Luna's merit pay law was voted down Nov. 6.

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Online Classes
6:11 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Technology Law Goes, Online Class Requirement For Idaho Students Stays

Credit Scott Woods-Fehr / Flickr Creative Commons

Two thirds of Idaho voters Tuesday rejected a law to increase technology use in schools. Of the three propositions voted down, it was Proposition Three that failed by the widest margin. That one repeals the technology component of the Students Come First laws. But one of the most well-known parts of that law will remain in place.

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Pay For Performance
4:52 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Bonus Money Will Go To Idaho School Districts But Maybe Not To Teachers

Credit 401k / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho voters rejected the state’s teacher pay for performance plan when they said no to Proposition 2 this week. However, the schools and teachers that have earned bonuses for work in the last year have already been announced, but whether or not that money gets into teachers’ hands remains uncertain.

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Propositions 1, 2, 3
2:16 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Vote No Campaign Celebrates Victory Over Props 1, 2 And 3, Reaches Out To Luna

Idaho Education Association President Penni Cyr addresses a small crowd outside of Boise High. Also pictured are Vote No spokesman Brian Cronin and treasurer Maria Greeley.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

After voters rejected the controversial Students Come First education laws last night, members of the Vote No campaign gathered outside of Boise High this morning.

Vote No campaign chairman Mike Lanza said that the results of the referenda are clear. He says that voters showed how much they care about local control in Idaho’s schools, and he characterized the election results as “glorious.”  

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