Beginning his public schools budget pitch, state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna told the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee that much has changed since he first submitted a budget request in September – namely, the repeal of the “Students Come First” laws. “At the same time we recognize that many of the things have not changed,” he said. “The data has stated the same, and what the data tells us is that in Idaho, we have good schools.” Sixty percent of Idaho schools met AYP, or federal adequate yearly progress, standards last year; 58 percent were rated as “four- or five-star schools” under Idaho’s new rating system, and students in just eight states outperformed Idaho 8thgraders in reading, while just 11 states edged 8th graders in math.
“So by any number of measures, it’s obvious that Idaho has good schools, and we’re blessed to live and raise our families here,” Luna said. “The same data also tells us that we still face many challenges.”
Idaho continues to have a high graduation rate, he said, “which is a good thing. Yet far too many of our students do not go on to education after high school. Of those who do go on, too many are unprepared for the rigors they’ll face once they get there.”