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|NUMBER 244||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||MAY 2006|
|Idaho Lawmakers Heed Public Objections to High School Reform|
The SBE's rule changes were aligned with high school reforms promoted by the National Governors' Association and the U.S. Department of Education.
Public objections to the SBE proposals included criticism of:
SBE plans also sought to increase "capacity for the Idaho Digital Learning Academy" which exists within Idaho's State Department of Education to provide on-line courses for students.
The high school curriculum design rule was approved by the House Education Committee. But on March 30th, SCR 134 passed with a 24-11 vote the SBE's pending rule changes were declared "null and void."
After the adoption of SCR 134, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC) denied funding for the plans that the SBE had estimated would impact the state general fund by $56.5 million for the fiscal years 2007 to 2013: $1.4M (2007), $1M (2008), $3.9M (2009), $6.8M (2010), $11.5M (2011), $14.8M (2012), and $17.1M (2013).
Without a JFAC guarantee for funding, the SBE withdrew its proposal even though as a "rule change" not legislation the reform plans could have taken effect. The State Board of Education will be working on a new plan to present next year. (Associated Press, 4-8-2006)
20% sales tax hike to increase school funding
Economics professor Ron Nate of Rexburg, Idaho explained, "The IEA estimates $200 million of additional revenues from the tax increase. Divide $200 million by Idaho's population, and that's $144 per person, or $576 for a family of four, each year." (Idaho Falls Post Register, 2-28-2006)
The proposal wording could allow funding of some of the high school reforms included in the SBE rule changes that were rejected by the Idaho Senate.