Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

The Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy released a report last week questioning the constitutionality of Idaho’s education funding system.  Director of the center and former longtime chief state economist Mike Ferguson authored the report.  Two of the largest

Idaho Department of Commerce

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the family of a University of Idaho graduate student murdered last August has agreed to a financial settlement with the university in a claim filed against the school. Katy Benoit’s family had filed a three million dollar tort claim against the UI in December.

Idaho Universities Want To Raise Tuition, Again

Apr 17, 2012
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Wednesday Idaho’s universities will ask the State Board of Education to raise student tuition. Meanwhile, the state has already signed off on an increase to higher education for the first time in several years. The universities say that financial boost doesn’t cover operating expenses.

Chris Rosenbaum points to columns of numbers on the printout on her desk. It shows Boise State University’s budget going back longer than some of its students have been alive. But the school’s Executive Budget Director says two numbers stand out.

Foundation Gives Idaho Schools $2 Million In Grants

Apr 17, 2012

Idaho’s Education Superintendent Tom Luna has spent the past two weeks visiting schools across the state to hand out grant money from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. Luna has given out about two million dollars to help 15 districts and charter schools learn to use a new state program called Schoolnet. The online system allows teachers to share lesson plans and conduct student assessments.It’s already available to all Idaho teachers. The largest grant went to the state’s largest district. Meridian got 250 thousand dollars. Kuna, Melba, and New Plymouth also received grants.

Study Questions Constitutionality Of Idaho's Education Funding Plan

Apr 13, 2012
Stack of Books
Albertogp123 / Flickr

A report released today by the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy questions whether the state is meeting its constitutional duty to "maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools."

The report is authored by the center's director Mike Ferguson, who was also Idaho's chief economist for 25 years.

An Oregon School District is digging in its heels against a proposed state ban on Native American mascots. The School Board in the Willamette Valley farm town of Lebanon will consider a resolution Thursday to reject the ban.

The Oregon Board of Education could vote as soon as next month to phase out Native American-themed school mascots over the next five years. But the prospect isn't going over well in the Lebanon School District. The high school's athletes are called the Warriors and the logo includes an image of a Native American on a horse.

Idaho’s Program To Train Doctors Still Relevant At 40

Mar 21, 2012
Ysabel Bilbao / University of Idaho

More than 500 students from Idaho have become doctors through a special medical exchange program known as WWAMI. It’s named for the five states that are part of it Washington, Wyoming,  Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. This year WWAMI celebrates its 40th birthday.  Patrice Burgess graduated from that program in 1990. Now she’s a family physician in Boise.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s public schools may have to do more when it comes to stopping bullying. The state Senate okayed legislation Thursday that would require schools to give tools to teachers on how to spot and stop bullying.  It also says school employees must intervene if bullying happens.   Sen. Nicole LeFavour (D-Boise) told her colleagues there was a real need for this bill. 


Idaho’s public schools may have to do more when it comes to stopping bullying. The state Senate okayed legislation today that would require schools to give tools to teachers on how to spot and stop bullying.  It also says school employees must intervene if bullying happens.   Democratic Senator Nicole LeFavour told her colleagues there was a real need for this bill.

School Levies Pass In Ada County… Canyon, Not So Much

Mar 14, 2012


Voters approved the Boise School District’s $70 million supplemental levy Tuesday by a wide margin. Almost 29,000 people cast votes, which is about 29% turnout. Of those Boise voters more than 71% said yes to the levy. It will cost homeowners about $100 a year for every $100,000 of taxable value.  The tax will be spread out over five years beginning fall 2012.  Volunteers campaigned heavily both for and against the levy.

Volunteers Work For And Against Boise School Levy

Mar 13, 2012


More than half a dozen schools districts throughout the Treasure Valley will ask voters to decide if they’re willing to pay higher taxes to support local education. One of the largest levies is for Boise’s School District. It’s a 70 million dollar levy over five years. That dollar amount has brought volunteers on both sides out to canvas neighborhoods to get your vote…

Where To Vote In Ada County?

Mar 9, 2012

BOISE, ID – Voters throughout Idaho decide Tuesday on raising property taxes for public schools.  But it can be unclear where to vote if you live in Ada County.

Where people go to cast votes on supplemental school levies in Canyon County is pretty clear.  The website directs them to their usual polling places.  But where to go in Ada County is murkier.  Phil McGrane is Chief Deputy at the County Clerk’s office.  He says voters won’t find this information on their website.

Idaho Budget Writers Set School Spending

Mar 5, 2012


Boise, ID – Idaho’s budget writing lawmakers Monday  set the state’s public schools budget. It accounts for about half of the state’s total spending. Under the proposal schools would get more than one and a half billion dollars in 2013, a four point six percent boost. That was the easy part. 

State employees may get a raise in the next fiscal year.  Budget lawmakers decided today to give all state workers, except teachers, a two-percent raise.  The Governor had wanted to give state employees a one-time bonus, if state revenue stayed strong.  Republican Senator Dean Mortimer argued in favor of a one-time bonus, not an on-going raise.


Boise, ID – Tom Luna wants a more hands off role for the federal government when it comes to education, but he does think federal oversight is needed. Idaho’s Superintendent of Education testified on Capitol Hill Thursday urging House members to overhaul the federal No Child Left Behind Law. It created a national accountability system for schools based on student performance back in 2001. Luna acknowledges the law was needed to help under performing schools. But he says things have changed.