Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

Voters in several school districts in southwest Idaho go to the polls Tuesday. The Kuna School district will ask voters to approve nearly $3.2 million a year for the next two years. That money would be used to hire more teachers, reduce fees, plus maintenance and operations expenses. It could also mean the difference between offering drivers education or not.

This November, Idaho voters will decide whether to keep the state's Students Come First education laws, known as propositions 1, 2, 3 on the ballot. Now the fight over how you should vote has intensified. That fight has taken to the air waves.

If you tune into a commercial radio station in Idaho right now, you might hear a perky sounding woman going down her back to school check list.

Boise State University

Boise State President Bob Kustra says times are changing for colleges and universities, including his own.  In his tenth annual State of the University Address, Kustra reflected on recent funding cuts, and how the university has responded.  

He told a room full of faculty and staff that he’s as challenged and scared as they are. “These are challenging times, they’re scary times, there’s no question about it.” 

Nampa Asks Voters For More Money Despite Budget Debacle

Aug 20, 2012

The Nampa School District is going into the school year with a $2.8 million shortfall. The reason: an accounting error that had gone undiscovered since last school year. That information comes to light as the district prepares for a $1.6 million levy vote August 28th. The question on many people’s minds is, how will the shortfall announcement influence voters?

The Nampa School District shocked its board and city residents Tuesday when it announced a budget shortfall of $2.8 million.  Because of accounting errors, Nampa superintendent Gary Larson told his audience, the district spent money it didn’t have.

The shortfall is in last year's budget, and it's coming to light at an unfortunate time: just as the district finishes making cuts to fill a budget gap for the year ahead.

Larson says the district's finance team caught the problem a little more than a week ago and alerted the deputy superintendent. 

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

In Washington D.C. Tuesday a national summit on preventing bullying in schools rapped up. It’s the third year the U.S. Department of Education has hosted the summit on what is a growing concern among educators and parents. In Boise Tuesday Idaho teachers came together to learn ways to prevent bullying.

College Of Idaho Is State’s Best According To Forbes

Aug 1, 2012

Forbes has released its latest ranking of the nation’s top colleges. The Idaho school highest on the list of 650 is College of Idaho at 222. The private liberal arts school in Caldwell has about 1,000 students.

The magazine bases the ranking on teaching quality, graduation rates, career prospects, and debt level. Idaho’s next school on Forbes’ list is Brigham Young University Idaho at 358. University of Idaho comes in at 396. Boise State makes the list at 616 with Idaho State University at 620.

A judge has dismissed a charge of racketeering that the Blaine County School District had leveled against a contractor. Seattle based McKinstry performed energy upgrades on several district buildings. The company later sued saying it wasn’t paid all it was owed. The district says McKinstry billed for unauthorized work and responded to the suit with the racketeering charge. Fifth Judicial District judge Robert Elgee dismissed that claim this week. However, the court has not ruled on other misconduct charges made by the district.  

A unique summer camp wraps up in Boise Friday. About 20 middle school age kids spent two weeks making art projects, going on field trips and singing songs. All pretty typical camp activities but for half the participants it was a new experience. They’re refugees from half a dozen countries on three continents. Boise’s Department of Parks and Recreation teamed up with the Idaho Office for Refugees for the first Boise International Camp.

Oregon Gets Waiver From No Child Left Behind While Idaho Waits

Jul 19, 2012
StateImpact Florida NPR

Idaho is one of only five states still waiting for a waiver to the No Child Left Behind education law. California and Nevada are also waiting for permission to use their own academic accountability systems.

shawncambell / Flickr

Editor's Correction:  We originally reported that K12 owns Idaho Virtual Academy. This was reflected in the original headline and in the first paragraph. "The company that owns Idaho’s largest charter school has a weak academic record.This is not correct. K12 does not own Idaho Virtual Academy but it does provide lesson materials.

Campaign To Keep Education Laws Launches First Ad

Jul 16, 2012

The group that wants Idaho voters to keep the Students Come First education laws in November started its active campaign Monday. A radio ad began playing on 40 stations across the state. It features Idaho First Lady Lori Otter touting advantages of the laws such as more technology in schools and bonuses for teachers.

Idaho Students Plan Trip To Mars

Jul 15, 2012

A group of 17 year olds discuss building hydroponic greenhouses on Mars. They’re some of the Idaho high school students getting college credit before their senior year by designing a future interplanetary. The Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars program has two summer sessions each with about forty students.  The first wrapped up over the weekend. And  a new session begins today Monday.

North Idaho Hosts National Education Leaders

Jul 13, 2012

Education leaders from around the country are in Idaho Friday. Coeur d’Alene is the first city in Idaho to host the annual Institute. 21, a conference put on by the Partnership For 21st Century Skills.

It’s a coalition made up largely of companies that have stakes in education. It includes some big names like Apple and HP. 

It also has some non-corporate members such as philanthropic organizations and the National Education Association. Education superintendents from several states - including Idaho - are attending.

Fewer Idahoans Have College Degrees

Jul 12, 2012
Graduation Winter Boise State Undergraduates
Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

New numbers from the U.S. Department of Education show fewer Idahoans had college degrees in 2010 than in 2009. Nearly 67,000 residents aged 25-34 had some kind of post-secondary degree in 2010. That’s just under 33 percent of that demographic. And it’s about 1,000 fewer than the year before, or a .7 percent drop. The national average is above 39 percent.