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Superintendent candidates differ on boosting endowment payouts to schools

Idaho Education News surveyed the four GOP candidates for state Superintendent of Public Instruction on whether they favor boosting annual payments to schools from the state’s permanent endowment fund; two of the four said yes. “Recent history shows that the reserve fund has been adequate and that some boost could be made to K-12,” said John Eynon, a music and drama teacher from Grangeville. Andy Grover, superintendent of schools in Melba, said, “While I do not support shrinking reserve funds to levels that would put distributions in jeopardy, I believe that we can both increase the distribution to public schools while protecting our reserve fund and future generations of beneficiaries.”

American Falls middle school principal Randy Jensen warned against a big boost followed by a big drop: “A steady source is better than a rapid increase in one year with a decrease in the following years,” he told Idaho EdNews. And Mountain Home school administrator Sherri Ybarra said, “With the fund balance, the board is required to maintain a focus on future students, as well as current students to provide equity in funding as well as to minimize the unpredictability in payments.” You can read the full report here from reporter Kevin Richert; he also surveyed candidates for other offices that include service on the Land Board about land transfers and commercial property investments.

At least three of the four GOP rivals will face off in a debate tonight on KIVI Channel 6 at 6 p.m., which also will be streamed live at idahoonyourside.com. The superintendent candidates also will meet in a statewide debate May 8 on Idaho Public Television; the winner of the GOP primary will face Democrat Jana Jones in November.

New Freeman superintendent

Randy Russell, principal of Coeur d'Alene High, holds his birthday gift, a model viking ship, in the office of his school Friday, Sept. 29, 2006. He just turned 40 years old. JESSE TINSLEY The Spokesman-Review
  

The Freeman School District has announced on their web site that they have offered the superintendent's position to Coeur d'Alene High School principal Randy Russell. A special board meeting was held yesterday to make the decision. Russell is expected to attend the district's next board meeting, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 28 in the middle school library.

News of the decision trickled out into Coeur d'Alene yesterday and the SR's Huckleberries blogger in North Idaho, Dave Oliveria, posted the information. Several people who commented on the post here had good things to say about Russell.

New Freeman superintendent chosen tomorrow

The Freeman School District board of directors announced this morning that they will be having a special meeting at 8 a.m. Wednesday to select a new superintendent. They will meet in executive (closed) session to discuss the qualifications of the candidates, then come back into a regular, open session to hold a vote on which candidate will replace outgoing superintendent Sergio Hernandez. The meeting will be in the board room.

Meet the Freeman finalists

Just a reminder that at 6:15 p.m. tonight residents in the Freeman School District can stop by the middle school gym to meet the four finalists for the superintendent position. This is your chance to meet them and ask questions. The finalists are: Cheney High School principal Thomas Gresch, Liberty School District superintendent Bill Motsenbocker, Coeur d'Alene High School Principal Randy Russell and Mead School District executive director of human services Kelly Shea.

Current superintendent Sergio Hernandez plans retire at the beginning of June.