One state budget cut has just been reversed, and just in time: The Idaho Digitial Learning Academy has received a $100,000 grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation that’s allowing it to immediately lift unprecedented new enrollment caps on advanced courses offered online to Idaho high school students for the coming school year. The grant is part of the Albertson Foundation’s “Go On” campaign, which is aimed at raising Idaho’s dismally low rate of students going on to further education after high school; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
“This is a very trying time for educators in Idaho,” said Donna Hutchison, CEO at the IDLA. “IDLA strives to be part of the solution for districts struggling with budget cuts.” The academy, created by the Legislature in 2002, offers online courses at minimal cost to students around the state, including those whose local districts simply don’t offer the courses. The grant will immediately lift enrollment caps placed on Advanced Placement and dual credit classes ranging from calculus to psychology for the coming school year; the enrollment deadline for the 47 class offerings is Sept. 3. The grant also will provide some resources for students preparing for college entrance exams.
“Increasing access to educational opportunities such as AP and dual credit classes is essential for Idaho’s students,” said Albertson Foundation Executive Director Jamie MacMillan. “Idaho students rank in the bottom 10 states for students who go on and complete post-secondary training and education. Without access to advanced opportunities such as those IDLA provides, Idaho’s students are far less likely to complete the education necessary to help them - and the state - be as successful as possible.”