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College tuition, fee hikes approved

The Idaho State Board of Education has voted to approve, as requested, proposed tuition and fee increases from the state's four-year colleges and universities: 8.4 percent at the University of Idaho; 7 percent each at ISU and LCSC; and 5 percent at Boise State University. “The institutions have a very difficult challenge,” said state board President Richard Westerberg. “Declining funding from the state of Idaho places more burden on students and their family. The proposals before us today reflected a cooperative effort between administrations, faculty, staff and students.” You can read the board's full announcement here.

Then, the state board heard from and questioned state schools Superintendent Tom Luna about his “Students Come First” reform plan, including online course requirements; some members expressed reservations about setting a rule requiring online courses before a state task force finishes studying the issue, while others supported more online courses sooner. The board asked its staff to look into the process it should follow, and said it may hold a special meeting on the matter this spring; then on Thursday, it appointed board secretary Don Soltman to work with staff on that. “Don's going to take a couple of weeks and get with staff and work with all of us on, is this possible, in terms of meeting the time requirements to have a rule before the Legislature in January and all of that,” said board spokesman Mark Browning. The board may form a task force, but it's “not yet constituted,” he said. Far from being “up and running” on developing a rule, Browning said, “We're still trying to figure out where we're running to.”


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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