More than 400 teachers from throughout Idaho are in Boise Friday and Saturday. They’re delegates to an assembly of the statewide teachers union. This is the 120th time the Idaho Education Association has held this annual meeting. But  this year is a little different.

Every year members of the IEA elect delegates to set the organization’s agenda. This year they’ll meet just like always. Delegates will make proposals, take votes and set priorities for the next year. But this time around there’s already an item on their list.

Idaho’s Board of Education gave the state’s universities the go ahead Wednesday to raise tuition. This spring a full time student at Boise State University paid nearly $2,800 in tuition and fees, a little more at the University of Idaho.

“Right now in total student tuition and fees they’re paying $2,928. They will be paying 3,106,” says Keith Ickes the University of Idaho’s budget director. He says that tuition increase will start this fall thanks to Wednesday’s State Board of Education decision. The University asked for and got permission to raise tuition by 6.1 percent.

Tom Luna Defends Policies During Moscow Visit

Apr 18, 2012
Office of Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna finished his post- legislative tour in Moscow on Tuesday, speaking with educators and administrators about the education reform laws approved by the state legislature.

Luna said his plan will fund a one-to-one ratio of students to laptops in Idaho classrooms, not replace teachers with technology. “Laptops are not replacing teachers, no more than when they invented the printing press and we started putting books in schools that books replaced teachers.”

It didn’t take long for supporters of the University of Idaho to raise the issue of putting "flagship" back in the university's proposed mission statement. They brought the matter up Wednesday at the Idaho State Board of Education meeting in Moscow. 

Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

The Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy released a report last week questioning the constitutionality of Idaho’s education funding system.  Director of the center and former longtime chief state economist Mike Ferguson authored the report.  Two of the largest

Idaho Department of Commerce

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the family of a University of Idaho graduate student murdered last August has agreed to a financial settlement with the university in a claim filed against the school. Katy Benoit’s family had filed a three million dollar tort claim against the UI in December.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Wednesday Idaho’s universities will ask the State Board of Education to raise student tuition. Meanwhile, the state has already signed off on an increase to higher education for the first time in several years. The universities say that financial boost doesn’t cover operating expenses.

Chris Rosenbaum points to columns of numbers on the printout on her desk. It shows Boise State University’s budget going back longer than some of its students have been alive. But the school’s Executive Budget Director says two numbers stand out.

Idaho’s Education Superintendent Tom Luna has spent the past two weeks visiting schools across the state to hand out grant money from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. Luna has given out about two million dollars to help 15 districts and charter schools learn to use a new state program called Schoolnet. The online system allows teachers to share lesson plans and conduct student assessments.It’s already available to all Idaho teachers. The largest grant went to the state’s largest district. Meridian got 250 thousand dollars. Kuna, Melba, and New Plymouth also received grants.

Study Questions Constitutionality Of Idaho's Education Funding Plan

Apr 13, 2012
Stack of Books
Albertogp123 / Flickr

A report released today by the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy questions whether the state is meeting its constitutional duty to "maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools."

The report is authored by the center's director Mike Ferguson, who was also Idaho's chief economist for 25 years.

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 / Boise State Public Radio

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…