Education

Boise State's Famous Blue Turf Now In Japan

Jun 11, 2012
Boise State University

For the first time, another college football team will play its home games on a surface the same color as Boise State’s.  The university has trademarked the famous blue turf, but has allowed a Japanese school to install a similar surface.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Monday is the last day that school districts and teachers can discuss contracts. Many districts have come down to the wire. In the state’s largest district some say new restrictions on bargaining have hindered the process.

The union for Meridian's teachers and a representative from the state’s largest school district meet this afternoon for one last contract negotiation. The talks have gone on for months. Under a law passed last year, districts and teachers must agree to a contract by June 10th.

That day falls on a Sunday, so teachers and administrators have until the end of the business Monday to agree. Meridian Education Association president Luke Franklin says this has been the most difficult and contentious negotiation Meridian has seen in recent memory. He says it’s been hard on his members.

High school students in 32 Idaho districts will get laptops next year . Tuesday Idaho’s Department of Education announced the first round of districts to get one computer per student. Idaho’s two largest districts, Meridian and Boise were chosen and so were seven other Treasure Valley districts. The computers are mandated by the state’s Students Come First laws.

sde.idaho.gov

The Idaho Department of Education announced Tuesday that high school students at 32 school districts will get laptops in the fall of 2013. Nine of those districts are in the Treasure Valley. 

This is the first round of school districts to get laptops under Idaho’s Students Come First education laws. Those mandated a ratio of one mobile computer per high school student.

The state’s two largest districts, Meridian and Boise, as well as Vallivue and Kuna are part of this first rollout. All the state’s high school teachers will get a laptop this fall. 

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Food Bank trucks are once again in Boise parks providing lunches for low-income children. Last summer the food bank says it served nearly 60,000 lunches in its Picnic in the Park program. The lunch trucks will be in 20 locations through mid-August.

heritagecommunitycharter.com

Caldwell’s Heritage Community Charter School has some serious problems. That’s the assessment of the state’s Public Charter School Commission, which oversees the publicly funded, privately run schools. Heritage has been in operation for one school year with students from kindergarten to high school.

heritagecommunitycharter.com

Caldwell’s Heritage Community Charter School has been open for a year. And Thursday its board of directors heard harsh criticism from Idaho’s Public Charter School Commission. 

Commission members say they’ve never seen so many problems at one school, including the inability of the board to understand finances. Tamara Baysinger, the commission’s director, says it’s more complicated than just the board.

fafsaexpress.com

The Jerome School District has been chosen to participate in a national program to get students to apply for college financial aid. 92 districts were chosen randomly from among the applicants; Jerome is the only one in Idaho. The pilot project gives schools the ability to see which of their students have not completed the FAFSA, which determines who is eligible for federal college aid.  School councilors can then encourage students to fill out the paper work.  The U.S.

facebook.com/studentscomefirst

Many school districts in Idaho are negotiating teacher contracts. And because of the Students Come First education laws that passed last year, those negotiations now have to be done in full view of the public.

Before Students Come First all the public usually saw of school district contracts was the finished agreement. Now you can watch every offer and counter-offer, and every back and forth of the negotiation. This is the second year that’s been true. Students Come First went into effect in April of 2011. Many districts begin negotiations in April.

baseball.isport.com

The Nampa school district is short about two and a half million dollars for next year. The district and the local teachers’ union are trying to find a way to balance that budget in their annual contract negotiations. The district’s first offer made up the shortfall largely through teacher furloughs, an idea that didn’t go over well with the Nampa Education Association. After some back and forth, the latest proposal on the table calls for the district to make deep budget cuts instead. The largest part of that comes from staff reduction, mostly through attrition.

mfdudu / Flickr

More than 100 Idaho schools have been selected to receive a federal grant to give kids more fresh fruits and vegetables. The grants are meant to provide healthy snacks outside of the school lunch and breakfast program.

sde.idaho.gov

Idaho schools superintendent Tom Luna has a new role in Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Luna has been named an education policy advisor to Romney.  Luna has been one of Romney’s biggest Idaho supporters throughout the primary process and says he’s advised the former governor informally. Romney laid out his education priorities in a speech in Washington Wednesday. Nearly everything he talked about is part of Luna’s Students Come First public education laws that passed the Idaho Legislature last year.

U. of Idaho President Weighs In On Football Future

May 24, 2012

University of Idaho President Duane Nellis says the university continues to weigh all of its options regarding the future of its football program.

In the volatile world of intercollegiate football conferences, the issue for some schools remains: where will they be playing in the future? The Western Athletic Conference, for example, has seen several football programs leave for other conferences, leaving the University of Idaho and New Mexico State behind. Nellis says the UI is looking at its options.

Students in Boise schools will pay more for lunch this fall. And lunch prices in other districts are likely to go up as well.

Peggy Bodnar says the Boise School District has tried hard to keep from raising the lunch price. But the district’s Food Service Supervisor says now they have to. She explains, “there were numerous changes that came about with that Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.”

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