Idaho’s new school task force to focus on literacy, college/career readiness

Idaho Governor Brad Little on Monday charged his new education improvement task force with coming up with five or six recommendations by November to improve Idaho school student achievement in two specific areas – literacy, and college and career readiness.

The governor also called on the 26-member committee to improve accountability for state expenditures on schools, and lay the framework for a sustainable state school budget for the next five years, regardless of economic ups and downs.

The task force, co-chaired by Boise businessman Bill Gilbert and state Board of Education President Debbie Critchfield, includes business officials, education stakeholders, legislators, and others. The panel will have four subcommittees, focusing on K-12 budget review; recruiting and retaining effective teachers; opportunities for rural and underserved schools; and school facilities and safety.

Accountability measures will be a high priority for all four subcommittees.

The full task force is scheduled to hold six meetings around the state between now and November. The four subcommittees will each meet at least monthly before they finalize their recommendations to the full group by October 1st.

Little plans to use the group’s recommendations to formulate his budget and policy proposals to the Legislature when it convenes for its next session in January. (Idaho Press)