Report

Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

You have to make nearly twice the state’s minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Idaho. It’s more than double the minimum wage if you want to rent in Ada or Canyon counties and closer to triple for Blaine County. That’s from a study out last week from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Pew Charitable Trusts

Here’s a new way to measure Idaho’s fiscal health: tax volatility. Idaho is in the top third of most-volatile state tax revenues. That’s according a report released Thursday from the Pew Charitable Trusts, which Pew calls a first-of-its-kind national comparison.

If you haven’t yet clicked away, but you’re about to because reading the phrase ‘tax volatility’ made you think a trip to the dentist or DMV might be pleasant about now, here’s why it’s important.

Oregon Department of Agriculture

Idaho has the highest share of undocumented immigrants who will benefit from President Barack Obama’s recent executive action on immigration, according to a report from the Pew Research Center.

Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr Creative Commons

Idahoans are using more water per capita than residents of any other state according to a recent report from the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGS does a detailed look at water use every fifth year.

Molly Maupin led the team that calculated the nation’s water use for 2010. It took them four years to compile all the data. They looked at all the different ways people were using water, from morning showers to cooling nuclear power plants.

census.gov

The percentage of Idahoans with no health insurance was unchanged between 2012 and 2013. A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau says 16.2 percent of the state’s residents lacked health coverage in 2013. That’s about 257,000 people.

The nation as a whole saw a slight decline in the uninsured in that time, from 14.8 percent in 2012 to 14.5 percent in 2013.

Bureau of Reclamation / WaterArchives.org | Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho doesn’t require schools or daycares to have disaster plans. According to a report out this week from the nonprofit Save the Children, Idaho is one of four states that have no requirement.

Teacher preparation programs at Idaho universities were on par with the rest of the country in a new study. But the country as a whole did terribly. The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) looked at more than 1,000 teacher education programs around the U.S.

Getting more Idahoans to go on to college is the top education goal for the state. But sometimes state agencies disagree about how to realize that. Take a report issued last year by Idaho’s Office of Performance Evaluations. OPE evaluates state agencies and programs.

Classroom
Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

A year ago, Idaho lawmakers asked the state’s Office of Performance Evaluations (OPE) to study charter schools. They wanted the office charged with assessing Idaho’s agencies and programs to determine if charter schools were meeting the goal of making the state’s public education better overall. Last night, members of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee heard the answer. Amy Lorenzo was one of those who presented the OPE report.

jkaf.org/screenshot

Idaho has 48 charter schools. The publicly funded, independently run schools have strong support from some of the state’s top political leaders. But a new report says Idaho is not doing enough to encourage charter growth.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Teacher morale is low throughout Idaho.  And school administrators have serious concerns about recruiting and retaining teachers. Those are some of the findings from a new study presented to lawmakers Tuesday.

A new report from the American Cancer Society shows Idaho is doing little to prevent cancer compared to other states. It comes from the organization's advocacy arm, the Cancer Action Network.

 The report titled "How Do you Measure Up" looks at actions state governments take to prevent cancer. Aaron Czyzewski with the Cancer Action Network, says Idaho fares poorly in most of the criteria measured.