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

student, classroom, ipad
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.”

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.

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.

jana jones, education, election 2014
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.

Desks, Classroom
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.

Butch Otter
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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mormon, seminary
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.

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.

vote, election
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.

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.

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.

Washington State University

Washington State University's Board of Regents unanimously approved a plan Friday to establish a medical school in Spokane. It has the potential to generate 120 new doctors every year in the Northwest, but the move also tees up a fight between Washington's two largest public universities.

The University of Washington in Seattle is currently the state's only public medical school and it serves as the main destination for med students in a five-state area including Idaho.

A new report shows Washington State University is ready for a full-fledged medical school in Spokane. It would be one of the biggest educational ventures the school has seen in decades.

Consultants from MGT of America, contracted by WSU, gave this report to the school’s board of regents: WSU is well positioned to develop an accredited medical school in the near future. The group says WSU could seek accreditation in Fall 2015, and have its charter class in 2017.

The West Ada School District in southwest Idaho has put a National Book Award winning novel back in the curriculum after removing it six months ago amid parent complaints.

Trustees on Tuesday voted unanimously to put "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie on the supplemental reading list that teachers can select from.

The novel is narrated by a 14-year-old whose transfer makes him the only Native American in an all-white school. Objections are based on discussions of sex, abuse, alcoholism, or on racist or profane statements from characters.

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.