Boise residents will have a chance to meet the five finalists being considered for the University of Idaho's top job over the next month. A committee has been looking for a new president since Duane Nellis left to become the president of Texas Tech last March.
Each candidate will be in Idaho for about two days. They’ll spend a full day at the main campus in Moscow. Then each will get on a chartered plane and make a whirlwind tour of U of I extensions in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, and Boise, says Marilyn Whitney with Idaho’s State Board of Education.
A school district in north Idaho is considering a plan to arm select teachers and staff with concealed handguns. The school board is asking for public comment at a meeting Tuesday in Sandpoint, Idaho.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting last year, officials at the Lake Pend Oreille School District took a look at their own safety procedures. They discovered that, in a similar situation, some of the rural schools in the district would have to wait as long as 20 minutes for police arrive.
Now, the district is floating the idea of giving teachers the means to shoot back.
Two Boise schools were placed on lockdown this afternoon. Trail Wind Elementary and Les Bois Junior High in southeast Boise went on lockdown at the recommendation of the Boise police department. The lockdowns have now been lifted.
At about 1:30 p.m. Boise police received a report of a shot fired in a public area near the schools. Police positioned themselves at the elementary school and began a search of the area. They have found no evidence of gunfire or other suspicious activity.
Idaho’s school superintendent Tom Luna released his budget request for next year Tuesday. Luna is asking for a $77.8 million bump in state spending for education. That would be a 5.9 percent increase. That’s how much the Legislature increased education spending in 2007, the year before the financial crisis. Since then, the education budget has seen big cuts, and more recently, modest increases.
Idaho public schools chief Tom Luna is seeking a nearly 6 percent increase in funding next year for schools and teacher salaries.
Luna is also proposing helping high school juniors and seniors pay for dual-credit classes that help earn college credit before graduation.
The Republican unveiled his $1.37 billion budget for 2014-15 on Tuesday. He said the spending increase mirrors recommendations spelled out earlier this year by an education task force assembled by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter.
The University of Idaho has five finalists for its top job. Four hold administration jobs at public universities and one is listed as a higher education consultant.
The U of I has been searching for a president since Duane Nellis left to take a job at Texas Tech last March. Law school dean Don Burnett has been filling in as interim president at a salary of $240,000 a year. He did not apply for the full time job.
Idaho’s State Board of Education will interview the candidates in October and hopes to announce the new president in November.
The College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls is getting a $2.5 million federal grant to create a new degree program in food processing management.
It’s part of $474.5 million awarded to community colleges nationally to expand demand-driven skills. The CSI program was the only Idaho grant in this round of a program called Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training, which will eventually give out $2 billion.
The U.S. Department of Education says the new CSI degree will meet the needs of the area’s major employers.
Idaho’s Department of Education is proposing several new rules that would affect what kids learn. But creating a new education rule in Idaho is a bit like a soccer game. There’s a long period of passing back and forth before the goal is reached. Take this one: a proposal to require elementary students learn cursive handwriting.
The education data Idaho collects on its students should be used to improve teaching, not just report things like graduation rates, according to an out-of-state analyst. But for Idaho legislators serving on an education interim committee, and in the 2014 Legislature, safeguarding this data will likely be of equal importance.
Update 11:00 a.m: Idaho’s Department of Education has issued a correction saying the removal of the ground beef from schools is technically not a “recall” but a “product retrieval.” According to a USDA spokesman the difference is who bought it. Legally speaking, a recall is issued by a company on retail products. Because the beef was not sold to the public it can’t be recalled.