Education

An Oregon School District is digging in its heels against a proposed state ban on Native American mascots. The School Board in the Willamette Valley farm town of Lebanon will consider a resolution Thursday to reject the ban.

The Oregon Board of Education could vote as soon as next month to phase out Native American-themed school mascots over the next five years. But the prospect isn't going over well in the Lebanon School District. The high school's athletes are called the Warriors and the logo includes an image of a Native American on a horse.

Ysabel Bilbao / University of Idaho

More than 500 students from Idaho have become doctors through a special medical exchange program known as WWAMI. It’s named for the five states that are part of it Washington, Wyoming,  Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. This year WWAMI celebrates its 40th birthday.  Patrice Burgess graduated from that program in 1990. Now she’s a family physician in Boise.

Samantha Wright/BSPR

Idaho’s public schools may have to do more when it comes to stopping bullying. The state Senate okayed legislation Thursday that would require schools to give tools to teachers on how to spot and stop bullying.  It also says school employees must intervene if bullying happens.   Sen. Nicole LeFavour (D-Boise) told her colleagues there was a real need for this bill. 

 

Idaho’s public schools may have to do more when it comes to stopping bullying. The state Senate okayed legislation today that would require schools to give tools to teachers on how to spot and stop bullying.  It also says school employees must intervene if bullying happens.   Democratic Senator Nicole LeFavour told her colleagues there was a real need for this bill.

 

Voters approved the Boise School District’s $70 million supplemental levy Tuesday by a wide margin. Almost 29,000 people cast votes, which is about 29% turnout. Of those Boise voters more than 71% said yes to the levy. It will cost homeowners about $100 a year for every $100,000 of taxable value.  The tax will be spread out over five years beginning fall 2012.  Volunteers campaigned heavily both for and against the levy.

 

More than half a dozen schools districts throughout the Treasure Valley will ask voters to decide if they’re willing to pay higher taxes to support local education. One of the largest levies is for Boise’s School District. It’s a 70 million dollar levy over five years. That dollar amount has brought volunteers on both sides out to canvas neighborhoods to get your vote…

Where To Vote In Ada County?

Mar 9, 2012

BOISE, ID – Voters throughout Idaho decide Tuesday on raising property taxes for public schools.  But it can be unclear where to vote if you live in Ada County.

Where people go to cast votes on supplemental school levies in Canyon County is pretty clear.  The website directs them to their usual polling places.  But where to go in Ada County is murkier.  Phil McGrane is Chief Deputy at the County Clerk’s office.  He says voters won’t find this information on their website.

 

Boise, ID – Idaho’s budget writing lawmakers Monday  set the state’s public schools budget. It accounts for about half of the state’s total spending. Under the proposal schools would get more than one and a half billion dollars in 2013, a four point six percent boost. That was the easy part. 

State employees may get a raise in the next fiscal year.  Budget lawmakers decided today to give all state workers, except teachers, a two-percent raise.  The Governor had wanted to give state employees a one-time bonus, if state revenue stayed strong.  Republican Senator Dean Mortimer argued in favor of a one-time bonus, not an on-going raise.

 

Boise, ID – Tom Luna wants a more hands off role for the federal government when it comes to education, but he does think federal oversight is needed. Idaho’s Superintendent of Education testified on Capitol Hill Thursday urging House members to overhaul the federal No Child Left Behind Law. It created a national accountability system for schools based on student performance back in 2001. Luna acknowledges the law was needed to help under performing schools. But he says things have changed.

Imagine graduating high school with two years of college already under your belt. That’s the intention of a bill passed Monday by Idaho’s House Education Committee. It’s called the eight in six program. Students could get eight years of education in six, and the state would pay for up to eight extra classes a year for students who participate. Most of those classes would be online. Bill sponsor Steven Thayn, a Republican from Emmet brought his daughter Carly to testify. Carly Thayn, a high school junior, told the committee she’s already taken several online classes to get ahead:

Boise, ID – Idaho’s schools Superintendent has asked lawmakers to increase the money they send to schools by 4.7%. Tom Luna had asked for more than five percent back in September, but he’s adjusted for a drop in the state’s revenue estimate. One thing Luna is not adjusting is his insistence that lawmakers replace cuts made last year to the chunk of money the state puts aside for teachers’ salaries. That money was taken to pay for Luna’s Students Come First education overhaul. Restoring that money for salaries may hold the key to gaining teacher support for the laws.

Adam Cotterell/BSPR

Boise, ID – Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna goes before legislative budget writers Thursday morning. He’ll make the case for why public school funding should be increased. Idaho teachers including Carly Hill watch this budgeting process closely. She teaches U.S. history and government at Boise’s Timberline High school. Hill says years of cuts to education have hurt her school and colleagues. She talks about a couple she knows … both teachers who’ve just finished masters degrees.

 

Boise, ID – Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna goes before legislative budget writers Thursday morning. He’ll make the case for why public school funding should be increased. Idaho teachers including Carly Hill watch this budgeting process closely. She teaches U.S. history and government at Boise’s Timberline High school. Hill says years of cuts to education have hurt her school and colleagues. She talks about a couple she knows … both teachers who’ve just finished masters degrees.

Boise, ID – Idaho’s legislative session gets underway Monday. And the new president of the Idaho Education Association is ready. Penni Cyr became the president of the statewide teacher’s union last summer. She is a former teacher and school librarian from Moscow. She took over after the association unsuccessfully battled to block the new Students Come First laws. Those laws include limits on collective bargaining for teachers and institute a pay for performance system. Cyr talked with Adam Cotterell about what she sees as the top education priorities lawmakers need to address.

 

Boise Idaho – Idaho’s superintendent of education wants to end the two year trend of cutting money for schools. That’s why Tom Luna will ask the legislature to increase education funding next year by more than five percent.

Tom Luna “And I’m confident that because of the very difficult choices and decisions the legislature made in the past that there will be more money going to our K twelve schools this coming year.”

 

Boise, ID – Charter school enrollment across the country hit an all-time high this fall. A national charter school advocacy group  estimates more than two million students now attend charter schools.  Enrollment in Idaho charter schools is also on the rise.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools looked at this fall’s enrollment for the forty states that allow charter schools. Only about half of those states had numbers available. Idaho likely won’t have the fall enrollment calculated until February.

Idaho has doubled what it does to use data to improve student performance.  That’s according to a report that came Thursday by the Data Quality Campaign. This national nonprofit encourages states to use long term data to set educational policy.

Aimee Guidera  “So often data is equated with being a high stakes test score, and yes test scores are very important, but they are only one snapshot in time.”

 

BOISE, ID – It’s hard to measure equity if you don’t have a definition. That’s what the Idaho Office of Performance Evaluation found when trying to look at how fairly funds are distributed amongst the state’s four colleges and universities.  So OPE measured differences in funding levels between the four institutions from 2001 to 2011. OPE analyst Lance McCleve says,  “Over time the differences have grown.”

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