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Eye On Boise

Fri., Feb. 14, 2014, 7:52 a.m.

Testimony: Ag education, IEN funding, DD employment supports…

As this morning’s JFAC public hearing continues, three people have now spoken in favor of expanding funding for agricultural education in Idaho, as proposed in a pending bill. The programs now have the same funding they had in 1998, said Brett Wilder, state president of the Idaho FFA Association, and in 1982, the state FFA executive director was cut to half-time. “We are the only state in the nation without a full-time executive director to direct agricultural education,” Wilder said. “It is crucial that we act now. The average age of a farmer is getting near retirement.”

McCall-Donnelly school Superintendent Glen Seymoniak spoke in favor of continuing funding for the Idaho Education Network, as did Patrick Goff, technology director for Horseshoe Bend and Garden Valley schools, who said both small communities have seen big benefits.

Both providers and clients of services for people with developmental disabilities pleaded for improvements in the programs, including restoring employment support services; that’s proposed in a bill now pending in the House. “Having a job would make me feel awesome, knowing that I can earn my own paycheck,” said Becky Woodhead.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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