This week’s K-12 headlines:
Teacher ‘leadership premiums.’ In 2017-18, Idaho will spend $17.4 million on “leadership premiums,” bonuses for teachers who take on added roles and responsibilities. But according to a state report from 2015-16, some school districts gave out premiums that were smaller — or larger — than the law mandated. Some districts gave out across-the-board premiums, even though the program is intended to reward teachers who seek out leadership positions. https://www.idahoednews.org/news/report-details-problems-teacher-leadership-premium-payments/
Caldwell completes audit. Caldwell school trustees signed on to a 2015-16 audit — five months after it was due to the state. When Caldwell turns in the audit, the state will free up nearly $9 million that had been withheld from the district. The 56-page audit found significant problems in financial reporting, but Caldwell’s new superintendent says these problems have been fixed. https://www.idahoednews.org/news/caldwell-completes-past-due-audit-waits-9-million-withheld-funds/
Science attracts a crowd. About 100 people crammed into a Boise hotel conference room Tuesday night to have their say about school science standards. The prevailing public sentiment: The standards should include the climate change references that the 2017 Legislature deleted. The hearings represent the first step in a lengthy public process, and again, lawmakers will have the final word on the standards in 2018. https://www.idahoednews.org/news/large-crowd-boise-hearing-urges-passage-full-science-standards/
Acing the ACT. Noah Pauls wasn’t content with a 34 on the ACT. The Ambrose School senior took the test again, scored a perfect 36 and will attend the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall. “The score opened so many doors, I knew I could apply to any college.” https://www.idahoednews.org/features/perfect-act-score-leads-idaho-teen-mit/
Community college controversy. As Eastern Idaho prepares to vote next month on a proposal to turn Eastern Idaho Technical College into a new community college, the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee is urging a no vote. The group says it is concerned about tax increases, and the possibility that the new community college could host a refugee center. Senate Education Committee Chairman Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, is one of several community leaders backing the proposal. https://www.idahoednews.org/news/bonneville-county-republicans-draft-resolution-opposing-community-college/
Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger with Idaho Education News (idahoednews.org.) Idaho Education News is an independent news site focused on K-12 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.