School bullying: the numbers vary widely

School bullying: the numbers vary widely
Posted at 10:37 AM, Apr 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-06 12:37:07-04

This week’s education headlines:

Bullying in Idaho schools. Idaho schools reported 3,578 bullying incidents to the state in 2016-17, a slight increase from 2015-16. But a state student survey paints a grimmer picture: a quarter of the state’s students say they have been bullied. An expert at Boise State University puts more faith in these student survey results.

Candidates talk protests, and school safety. The student protesters who descended on the Statehouse in March played a role in convincing legislators to pass a new school safety law, Lt. Gov. Brad Little says. One of Little’s rivals in the GOP gubernatorial race, Boise businessman and physician Tommy Ahlquist, calls the protests “misguided.” Meanwhile, in the wake of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Florida high school, Idaho gubernatorial candidates split along party lines on questions of gun control and arming teachers.

A double hire. The State Board of Education checked off two big items on its 2017-18 to-do list Thursday, filling two presidents’ posts. Kevin Satterlee, chief operating officer, vice president and special counsel at Boise State University, will take over the presidency at Idaho State University. Cynthia Pemberton, vice president for academic affairs at Colorado Mesa University, will be the next president at Lewis-Clark State College.

Unfinished work. The 2018 Legislature just put an additional $100 million into K-12 for 2018-19. But the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy, a nonpartisan Boise research group, says it will take at least another $120 million for Idaho to fully fund the recommendations from Gov. Butch Otter’s K-12 task force. The big-ticket items include another round of teacher pay raises, and putting new state dollars into a reworked school funding formula.

Superintendent shuffles. Clete Edmunson — the former legislator and gubernatorial aide — has a new job after resigning as principal in the embattled New Plymouth School District. He has taken the job as superintendent in his hometown Council School District. Meanwhile, Cassia County trustees have hired Coupeville, Wash., superintendent Jim Shank to their district’s top job.


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.