"Not everything that is faced can be changed;
but nothing can be changed until it is faced."
- James Baldwin
Week one and all I can say is we are hitting the ground running. There is lots of news in the education arena.
Without a doubt, education is foundational not only to our children's future, but also to the future of Idaho. I was pleased to hear focus on education funding in Governor Otter's State of the State address where he recommended investing an additional $58 million on top of the $75 million previously invested over the past two years in the career ladder pay-model to keep us on track for our goal. He also recommended funds allocated for leadership training, professional development, and evaluation framework training.
The governor also brought attention to the continuing the "adult completer" scholarship which is designed for adults who have some college credits but have been away from school for at least three years. The goal is to provide incentive for 25-34 year-olds to finish their degree and ensure that at least 60% of Idahoans in this age group have a college degree or certificate by 2020. The State Board of Education has developed a task force for a scholarship program as well as "Next Steps Idaho" to help students and parents evaluate options for post-secondary education.
Public School Funding Formula Interim Committee
Over the summer the Public School Funding Formula Interim Committee held public hearings and worked with stakeholders to assess what is working and what is not. The final issue for consideration is healthcare for school districts. The committee is looking for options including proposing it as a line item in the funding of schools. To date, much of the operational and discretionary money has to be used for health care costs. The goal is to educate, equip, and prepare a workforce for meaningful employment and to address the needs of a vibrant economy. This is a two year committee and it has recently completed its first year.
Work in Progress
The plans for Reading Intervention from the district were submitted to the State Board of Education this fall. Its implementation begins this semester however, it is unrealistic to expect results this year and will take time to assess the impact of this approach.
Idaho State Board of Education is making plans for collaboration with the Idaho State Building Authority to provide finance and construction management for expansion of the Idaho National Laboratory Cybercore and Collaborative Computing Center Facilities. The new buildings are proposed for INL's Idaho Falls Campus and would house cybersecurity and supercomputer activities which have outgrown current facilities. Once complete, the State Building Authority would lease the buildings to the State Board of Education which would sub-lease to the Idaho National Laboratory. The new facilities would provide a place for Idaho students to engage in leading-edge education and research while creating internship opportunities and strengthening Idaho's economic development as it addresses the nation's cyber-security.
Join me and Representatives Mat Erpelding and Melissa Wintrow at our Town Hall meetings!
1/25/2017 6:30 PM Capitol Building, EW42
2/1/2017 6:30PM Hidden Springs
2/8/2017 6:30 PM Warm Springs Golf Course
2/22/2017 6:30PM Shadow Hills Elementary