Idaho State Board of Education President Ken Edmunds is opening “Education Week” in the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee this morning, with a presentation from the state board; he’ll be followed this morning by ISU President Arthur Vailas and then BSU President Bob Kustra. Edmunds told lawmakers that in Idaho, 92 percent of students graduate from high school, just 46 percent go on to some kind of additional education after that, and the post-secondary graduation rate is just 34 percent. The state board’s goal is that by 2002, 60 percent of Idaho’s citizens age 25-34 will have at least a one-year post-secondary credential. Currently, about 35 percent of Idahoans in that age group have an associate’s degree or higher. “We as Idaho are falling behind our global competition, and we have to find a way to deal with that,” Edmunds told JFAC.
He also noted that rates of unemployment in Idaho decline significantly with more education, and earnings go up significantly.
Today is Martin Luther King Jr./Idaho Human Rights Day, a state holiday, but the Legislature doesn’t take holidays – it’s in session today as usual. However, that will include the annual state commemoration of the holiday at noon today in the Capitol rotunda.