Education task force recommends school funding changes

Education task force recommends school funding changes

An education task force handed off its recommendations to the governor, suggesting a change in the way Idaho's public schools are funded.

The 31 members would like to see school funding be based on enrollment rather than attendance.

The idea is to make sure students are learning the material.

In Idaho, students can be promoted to the next grade level based on age, regardless of whether they've learned what they should.

"This really is going to raise the bar... for students, teachers, administrators and school board members," said Karen Echeverria, executive director of the Idaho School Boards Association.

School districts lose money for every day a kid is not in class, but the new system would base funding on enrollment rather than attendance.

There would also be an emphasis on moving students to the next grade only when they're ready.

"The kids that need the extra help could get it," Meridian parent Chris Hunt said, "but the kids that are actually able to progress through the material a little faster would be able to do so."

Now that the task force has presented and approved this recommendation along with others, it's up to state officials to fund them.

"We're hopeful that the governor will support our proposals when they come out of here, our recommendations," Echeverria said, "and that he will work with the Legislature, as we all will, to get them funded."

It's ultimately up to Governor Otter to decide what to do with those recommendations.

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