Idaho State Board of Education

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Many public schools in Idaho are only five weeks away from the scheduled first day of school, but planning how to safely open school doors during the coronavirus pandemic is uncertain at best.

 

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When Governor Brad Little unveils the much-anticipated school reopening guideline from his Public School Reopening Committee on July 9, Debbie Critchfield, president of the Idaho State Board of Education, says the plan will have a primary theme: getting more Idaho kids back in school.

Idaho Ed News

The Idaho Supreme Court has sided with the Legislature and the State Board of Education in a budget tug-of-war with state superintendent Sherri Ybarra.

Screenshot / Idaho Ed News

After nearly 90 minutes of constitutional arguments and pointed questions, a turf war between state superintendent Sherri Ybarra, the Legislature and the State Board of Education is now in the Idaho Supreme Court's hands.

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The Friday Reporter Roundtable is back with all the information you might have missed from the week's news. They cover grocery store earnings, plans to begin reopening the state, a lawsuit from the state superintendent, the uncertainty felt by higher education during COVID-19 and disruptions in the food supply chain in the Mountain West.

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In the shadow of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), much attention has focused on Idaho’s public schools.

Governor Brad Little said he will not implement statewide school cancellations over coronavirus, leaving it to local school districts to make their own decisions. During a March 16 conference call with some Idaho school officials, Little asked local school superintendents to consult with the latest information from health officials regarding COVID-19 when making their own district-wide decisions.

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Idaho’s state board of education has a new president. In April Debbie Critchfield’s peers elected her to the position, and in May she was named co-chair of Governor Little’s K-12 education task force. One of Critchfield’s goals is better access to higher education. And just as idaho is at a crossroads when it comes to education, Critchfield is ushering in a new generation of leadership.

Roam Yocham / Boise State Public Radio

Boise State has been without a permanent leader since July of last year. That’s when former university President Bob Kustra retired, after 15 years leading the institution.

 

Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Leaders from Idaho colleges and universities will meet Tuesday at Boise State.

 


Idaho State Board of Education

Idaho wants to see more students finish college, even if they stopped their studies years ago. To accomplish that goal, the state has set aside money for a scholarship to encourage adults to go back to school.

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The State Board of Education is calling for changes in the funding formula for Idaho's public colleges and universities. The new approach would be outcome-based, focusing on the graduation rates rather than credit-hour rates. Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News breaks down the how and why of the new funding structure proposal.

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The way Idaho provides some of its funding to colleges and universities could be changing.

Earlier this year, the Idaho Legislature allowed for twenty percent of the state's Opportunity Scholarship to aid adult learners.  We'll talk with the state's Board of Education and the Idaho Workforce Development Council about helping alternative students attain their degrees.

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Starting next year, tailgaters at Boise State and other Idaho universities will be allowed to legally drink alcohol while they munch their brats.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

The Idaho State Board of Education has announced that more than 20,000 high school students have been admitted to Idaho's public colleges and universities.

According to the board, this is the third year students with qualifying grades and test scores have automatically been admitted to Boise State University, University of Idaho, Idaho State University, Lewiston-Clark State College or one of the state's four community colleges.

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The Idaho State Board of Education says ticketed fans will no longer be allowed to purchase alcohol at college football games.

Board members rejected requests on Thursday to continue allowing alcohol sales at Boise State University and University of Idaho football games for the upcoming playing season.

Alcohol sales at football games were tentatively permitted by the board last year. Before, alcohol service was only approved for corporate sponsors and their guests.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

The State Board of Education has unanimously approved an agreement to build Idaho's first private medical school during its Thursday meeting.

According to the board's agenda, an investor group out of New Mexico has identified Idaho State University's Meridian campus as a future location for a private osteopathic medical school.

The investors, known as the Burrell Group, want to affiliate with a public university to build a private medical school.

The Burrell Group previously considered Montana as a possible location, but those discussions fell through in December.

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Those who follow education and politics in Idaho will probably be hearing the phrase ‘tiered licensure’ a lot in the next few months. The idea is to create different levels of teaching licenses.  Idaho Education News reporter Clark Corbin has been following the issue closely. Corbin says the plan has many teachers worried.

Boise State University

Boise State University Provost Martin Schimpf says the university’s recent program prioritization will make the school a more relevant, efficient and higher-quality institution. 

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A bill to allow students, staff and visitors to carry guns on Idaho's college campuses passed the House State Affairs Committee in a party-line split.

Lawmakers voted 11-3 Friday afternoon to send it forward to debate on the House floor, over objections from the majority of people who testified before the committee.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho State Board of Education voted unanimously to fight a bill aiming to allow guns on college campuses.

Monday's vote came as trustees voiced concerns that, among other things, the measure could create confusion in the event of a shooting, if more than one person drew a weapon.

Trustee Bill Goesling of Moscow, the University of Idaho's location, fears police won't be able to tell who is the bad guy.

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The former Pocatello High School girls' basketball coach who was fired after a photograph appeared on a social networking website showing a male coach touching her chest is challenging her dismissal.

Last month, School District 25 officials fired Laraine Cook and are now seeking to have her teaching certificate revoked by the state Board of Education.

The State Board of Education is seeking its third chief academic officer in just five years as the post's current occupant shifts to a new role at Idaho State University.

Selena Grace is leaving the position she took over in 2010 to become vice president of institutional effectiveness in academic affairs at Idaho State University.

The state job pays about $91,000 annually.

The Education Board began its search for a new chief academic officer earlier this month and plans to keep the posting open through Oct. 11.

Boise State University

At his annual State of the University speech, Boise State President Bob Kustra says the school will spend a year ranking its programs, departments and offerings. The process is being dubbed "program prioritization."

He says the goal is to make Boise State programs more cost effective. “We know there will be some resources as a result of this study that will require re-allocation,” says Kustra.