Idaho education task force recommendations likely to come with a hefty price tag

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, August 22, 2013

Idaho’s pathway to better public education could come with a hefty price tag and new approaches to strengthening teacher quality.

A peek at a preliminary list of recommendations from Gov. Butch Otter’s Task Force for Improving Education shows concern for recouping lost education dollars over the past several years and improving the workforce by paying teachers more money.

The task force was created eight months ago to bring government, educators, parents and business together following a stormy education fight that lead to defeat of the Students Come First laws in a referendum last November. Task force members will meet Friday to discuss the recommendations expected to be posted on the State Board of Education’s website late Wednesday or early Thursday. The list isn’t necessarily the final set of recommendation that will go to the governor.

School districts lost $82.5 million in operational revenue — money needed to pay the electricity bills and meet day-to-day expenses — since 2008 as the state pulled back during the recession. As revenues fell, districts sought to make up the difference with extra tax dollars from voters. But the results are mixed.

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