Education

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.”

Boise, ID - Idaho Superintendent of Education Tom Luna was sworn in as president of the Council of Chief State School Officers on Saturday. The group represents top education officials in each state.

Tom Luna has been in the national spotlight a lot of late. He’s encouraged Congress to update the No Child Left Behind Law.  That got him photo ops with the President and Secretary of Education, and an invitation to testify before a Senate Committee earlier this month. Now Luna says he’ll have even more national clout.

Idaho’s Superintendent of Education is in the halls of Congress Tuesday. Tom Luna testifies before a Senate committee on No Child Left Behind.  Congress is working on an overhaul of the law that governs the nation’s schools.

Tom Luna “What I’m going to tell them is this reauthorization is the right step because it’s a step towards returning the governing of our schools back to states and local school districts. ”

Idaho’s Board of Education voted Thursday that students will have to take two online courses to graduate high school. The requirement is unique in the nation. Education Board spokesman Mark Browning says there is one more step.

Mark Browning " The legislature will get the opportunity to review the rule in January. If and when the legislature approves of it, then it becomes a permanent rule. And should they choose to reject it then we would have to start over but for right now it is in place, it’s done.”

Boise, ID - Boise High School was the only school in Idaho to make the list of best High Schools for Math and Science from US News and World Report. Boise High came in 200th on the list of 208.

Boise High principal Amy Kohlmeier was surprised when asked  about her school being one of the best for math and science.

Amy  Kohlmeier “I was surprised because I hadn’t heard the news. But I wasn’t surprised that we made it because we do have a very strong AP program.”

Boise, ID - The cost to go to college continues to rise in Idaho and across the country. So many students end up taking out loans. Wednesday President Obama outlined a plan to help students who’ve had to take out loans to pay for school. That includes Boise State student Misty Love-Ingelstrom who studies inside on this chilly fall day. She’s an almost-Sophomore geology major. Love-Ingelstrom says she already has student loans. By the time she finishes undergrad and grad school she’ll have thousands of dollars of debt.

The state of Idaho could apply for a 50 million dollar grant to improve pre-kindergarten education.  But the state department of Ed doesn’t want it to. That’s what department representatives told other state agencies last week.  Idaho Department of Education spokeswoman Melissa McGrath says the state education department is trying to wean itself off one-time money.  The other reason is preschool is not a priority for Idaho.

Pages