U.S. Department Of Education

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Budget writers in Idaho’s legislature voted to increase state education spending 2.2 percent next year. That would put general fund education dollars at $1.308 billion.

Idaho’s high school graduation rate is better than all but nine states with 84 percent of students graduating on time. That’s according to a report out this week from the U.S. Department of Education. But the annual report has a multi-year lag.  This one looks at the 2009-2010 school year.

It also uses a method of counting grads and dropouts that even the authors consider antiquated. It compares the number of diplomas a state hands out with the number of students registered for 9th grade four years earlier.

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.

Two Idaho high school students have been named U.S. Presidential Scholars for 2012. Casey Davis of Idaho Falls and Katherine Waltar of Post Falls were chosen by a White House commission for their excellence in academics, arts, leadership, citizenship, service, and contributions to school and community. Waltar’s principal at Coeur D’Alene Charter Academy says that list of qualifications defines her character. Dan Nicklay says Waltar is always smiling even when working hard and she’s almost always working hard.