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BOISE – State lawmakers got a grim glimpse of the decision-making that awaits them when they convene in January, as the Idaho Legislature’s joint budget committee gathered Monday to go over figures suggesting it could face a shortfall in the hundreds of millions. It’s not that state tax revenues are falling farther behind – in fact, they’re running ahead of projections. The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee learned Monday that October’s state tax revenues came in $8.8 million ahead of projections, for a year-to-date surplus of $22.8 million.
When Idaho schools Superintendent Tom Luna ran for office four years ago, we had concerns about his education credentials. His resume just didn’t stack up to some of his opponents. In the general election this year, he faces the same hurdle. His opponent, Stan Olson, a retired Boise superintendent, has a doctorate in educational leadership and has been a teacher and adjunct professor. Yet Luna has some impressive achievements to point to in his four years on the job. His leadership has shown that somebody from outside the professional educator set can be effective. Luna says it’s because he looks at education from the customers’ viewpoint, meaning the students and the general public, rather than what’s convenient for the education bureaucracy.
The first non-educator to head Idaho’s public school system is running for re-election, and he’s being challenged by one of the state’s most prominent educators, the just-retired superintendent of the Boise School District, the state’s second-largest district.
BOISE – The two men vying to lead Idaho’s school system for the next four years clashed Tuesday night over everything from school funding to their own qualifications for the job in a debate televised live on Idaho Public TV. “Idaho needs a real advocate for education,” incumbent Superintendent Tom Luna declared. Luna, a Republican businessman and the first non-educator to head the state’s school system, said he went to the state Land Board for more money for schools “when everybody else threw up their hands. … And we were successful in getting $22 million.
BOISE – Idaho schoolteachers are coming out in force behind the candidacy of retired Boise school superintendent Stan Olson for state superintendent of schools, against incumbent Superintendent Tom Luna. At a rally on the state Capitol steps Friday, more than 100 teachers from 75 school districts around the state gathered to kick off an independent campaign for Olson, announcing that an Idaho Education Association survey of its 13,000-plus members found that nearly eight in 10 teachers back Olson and less than 5 percent plan to vote for Luna.
As Idaho voters make clear their displeasure with cuts to public education spending, the men running to lead the state’s schools for the next four years are campaigning in relative obscurity. A poll of 625 people likely to vote in the Nov. 2 election shows that 56 percent think per-pupil spending on K-12 public education is too low. The poll, conducted by The Spokesman-Review and six other daily Idaho newspapers, also shows that 23 percent of voters remain undecided about the race for superintendent of public instruction, possibly because some don’t know who’s running.
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s 16-point lead over Democrat Keith Allred masks weaknesses that show the race is far from over. Otter leads Allred 45 percent to 29 percent in a statewide poll commissioned by The Spokesman-Review and six other Idaho newspapers. But only 44 percent of those polled said they had a favorable opinion of Otter, and 20 percent remain undecided.
The state Department of Education says Idaho will receive more than $51 million in federal education funding to preserve teacher jobs, while U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Montana will receive nearly $30.7 million to support education jobs.
The state Department of Education says Idaho will receive more than $51 million in federal education funding to preserve teacher jobs.
BOISE – The first non-educator to head Idaho’s public school system is running for re-election, and he’s being challenged by one of the state’s most respected educators: the just-retired superintendent of the Boise School District, the state’s second-largest district. The race between state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna, a Republican businessman, and Stan Olson, the Democratic challenger who calls himself “apolitical,” is raising issues about what Idaho’s schools really need, from politics to professionalism. And it’s coming at a time when schools are struggling with huge and unprecedented spending cuts.
BOISE – The state Board of Education is upholding the closure of a charter school that had been tangled in a debate over classroom use of the Bible and is now being shuttered over money problems. The board further considered an appeal Tuesday from Nampa Classical Academy administrators, who vowed to shed their combative reputation and work with the state to stay open.