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Posts tagged: Idaho schools

Editorial: Luna owes explanation

“Students Come First” was the name of Idaho state schools chief Tom Luna’s controversial school reforms, which included a dramatic increase in online learning. But the lesson he has failed to learn is that communication comes first in pushing significant change.

First, teachers complained they weren’t sufficiently consulted when Luna introduced his reforms two years ago. Nonetheless, lawmakers adopted them, but voters repealed them. Then, last session, lawmakers passed modified versions and made it more difficult to launch voter initiatives.

Now, Luna has befuddled his legislative allies by awarding a 15-year contract worth up to $35.5 million to set up Wi-Fi networks in Idaho schools. SR Read more.

Are you interested in hearing Luna's explanation?

Lottery Offers $30.1M School Payday

Tuesday was a $30.1 million payday for Idaho schools — thanks to another recordbreaking year for the state lottery. Idaho lotteryThe Idaho Lottery delivered a $48.2 million dividend Tuesday, the state’s cut from $197.6 million in ticket sales. Here’s how the money breaks down for K-12:

  • The first $18,075,000 go into the Department of Education’s School District Building Fund. This fund received $17 million in 2012.
  • The Department of Education’s Bond Levy Equalization Fund will receive $12,050,000, up from $7.5 million a year ago. More from Kevin Richert/The EDge here.

Question: Don't you wish Gov. Butch Otter and the Idaho Legislature supported schools as well as the Idaho Lottery does, relatively speaking?

SR: Idaho Schools Take Fresh Hits

Unbowed by the defeats of Propositions 1, 2 and 3 last November, Idaho lawmakers have renewed their efforts to undermine public school education. Legislative committees this week voted to: allow school districts to impose contract terms on teachers; fund charter school building costs; and, most insidiously, create a $10 million tuition fund for private schools. An attorney general opinion quoted by Rep. Stephen Hartgen, R-Twin Falls, quite accurately characterized the fund as “an artful dodge to allow sort of a shell with respect to support of religious schools”/SR Editorial Board. More here.

Question: I'll keep asking the question: Why do Idahoans, who say they support education, stand by while legislators continue to attack school funding and try to bring back Luna Laws?

Finally some good Idaho ed news

BOISE - All Idaho high school juniors can now take the SAT for free, state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna announced today.

State lawmakers in 2007 approved requiring completion of a college entrance exam by the end of the junior year as a graduation requirement, starting with the class of 2013; this year, at Luna’s urging, they appropriated $963,500 for a statewide contract to pay for the tests. More here. Betsy Russell, SR

Did you take the SAT? How did you do?

Claim: Idaho Schools Violate Title IX

The federal government has received dozens of complaints about high schools all over the state violating Title IX. Title IX is the commonly referred to name of the section of 1972 Civil Rights Act passed by the U.S. Congress that guarantees equal athletic opportunities for boys and girls in schools that receive federal funds. The U.S. Department of Education isn't saying who filed the complaints, but it does say its civil rights branch is evaluating the claims. The complaint alleges that 78 out of 115 school districts in Idaho short-changed female athletes by not offering enough sports opportunities/KBOI Staff. More here. (SR file photo: Lake City's softball team rushes to celebrate their 2011 state championship win after Casey Stengel, No. 12, struck out final Timberline batter)

Question: Do you have female athletes in your family?

Hoffman: Schools Back Union Perks

While parents are being told that kids are going to have to huddle together in rooms of 30-40 kids and while kids and parents are being told that favorite programs either have been or will be shuttered, millions of dollars are being squandered to satisfy the goofy provisions of collective bargaining agreements negotiated by schools boards with their local teachers’ unions. Even in this budget climate, school districts still allow teachers to get paid to attend to union business while on the taxpayer dime. Some teachers spend an entire school year receiving taxpayer-paid salaries and benefits without having to step foot in front of classroom of students/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Are Idaho schools facing a financial crisis?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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