Four-year college, or learning a trade? A view from rural Idaho

Posted at 9:51 AM, Jul 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 11:51:38-04

This week’s education news:

After high school: a rural perspective.  Kash Morrison is 23, and he owns a business: Morrison Fabrication builds and repairs farm implements and other equipment in and around the rural community of Downey. Morrison’s career got a jump start through a two-year program at Idaho State University. Morrison’s story is replicated across rural Idaho; according to a statewide survey, rural parents are more likely to support career-technical education as a career path for their children.

A lottery payday. The Idaho Lottery handed out $48.5 million in dividends for schools and public buildings Thursday — down slightly from record payouts in 2015-16. The public schools’ cut of the money comes to $30.3 million, and the money will go towards building projects and repairs. The dividends represent the state government’s piece of the action on $240 million in lottery ticket sales.

Community college startup. Idaho’s newest community college is a little bit closer to becoming a reality. The Idaho Falls-based College of Eastern Idaho will offer a new associate degree program starting in August. And this week, the State Board of Education named a slate of five CEI trustees.

A rocky process. State superintendent Sherri Ybarra’s staff is scrambling to write up Idaho’s plan to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act, the feds’ new and far-reaching education law. The document is due Sept. 18. So far, Idaho’s process has been marked by missed internal deadlines — and grumblings from education leaders who say they have been cut out of the process.


Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger with Idaho Education News ( Idaho Education News is an independent news site focused on education policy and politics, funded by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation. Richert has worked in the Idaho news media since 1985, as a reporter, editor and columnist.