Thursday, August 22, 2013

Idaho Task Force Hands Otter Education Reform Recommendations, Hefty Price Tag

Posted By on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 1:51 PM

The Governor was looking for a batch of policy suggestions. The 31-member Education Improvement Taskforce, entrusted with furnishing Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter with those suggestions, posted a summary of its findings online, along with a hefty price tag.

According to Idaho Education News, the broad strokes of the task force's findings include suggestions to increase starting teacher pay from $31,000 to $40,000—veteran teachers could reach as high as $60,000—and restoring school budgets to their 2008-2009 levels.

During the 2008-2009 school year, per-classroom discretionary spending was $25,696. Today, that figure is $20,000 per classroom.

The total cost of implementing these two policy suggestions hovers around $300 million over five years—a figure described by Otter as "obviously going to be the limiting factor."

The Governor convened the task force following the defeat of Propositions 1, 2 and 3 nearly eight months ago. It is scheduled to present its full findings Friday, Aug. 23, at 9 a.m. in the Hatch Ballroom of the Boise State University Student Union Building.

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