ID Board of Ed approves slate of ideas for next legislative session

The Idaho State Board of Education Wednesday approved a list of 16 legislative ideas that could become formal bill proposals introduced during 2023 legislative session.

The list includes a permanent shift to enrollment, rather than daily attendance, to calculate funding for public schools throughout Idaho. For three years straight, the Board has used its temporary rule-making authority to calculate school funding based on enrollment. The first temporary rule was implemented during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to help stabilize public school funding thrown in flux because many parents chose to keep their students at home learning remotely, rather than attend school in-person. The latest temporary rule on enrollment was approved by the Board last February, and expires at the end of the 2023 legislative session.

Another legislative idea would establish an apprenticeship program allowing paraprofessionals currently assisting teachers in Idaho public school classrooms to become teachers themselves without first earning a bachelor’s degree. The program would create a career pathway for paraprofessionals, many of whom have been working in Idaho classrooms for many years, to achieve certification. Similar programs in other states have been successful by enabling school districts and charter schools to “grow their own” teachers and to help address teacher shortages.

The Board also heard results from a recent informal survey of school districts and charter schools indicating there is a shortage of educators going into the 2022/23 school year. The survey conducted earlier this month indicated there are 702 opening teaching positions statewide. More than half of the opening are due to recent retirements. Administrators also report difficulty in finding qualified candidates to fill open positions.

To see the full list of the board’s legislative ideas, CLICK HERE. (ID State Board of Ed)

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