Brad Little education task force

Idaho Gov. Brad Little addresses the first meeting of his education improvement task force, “Our Kids, Idaho’s Future,” on June 3 at the Stueckle Sky Center at Boise State University.

Gov. Brad Little charged his new education improvement task force on Monday with coming up with five or six recommendations by November to improve Idaho school student achievement in two specific areas, literacy and college and career readiness, while improving accountability for state expenditures on schools and laying the framework for a sustainable state school budget for the next five years, regardless of economic ups and downs.

“I am very confident that we really have the right people in the room,” Little told the 26-member committee, which gathered at the Stueckle Sky Center at Boise State University for its first meeting. It includes an array of members, from business officials to education stakeholders to legislators.

Little told the group most of them know “where I come from.” He said he wants to “create the best possible atmosphere for us to thrive, for our kids and grandkids to do well,” and also create an atmosphere where those who have left Idaho will will want to come back. “There’s nothing more important than having a great K-12 system,” he said. “It’s obviously the foundation for economic prosperity today more than ever, and it’s our constitutional, moral obligation. … It is the best way to ensure our kids and grandkids have a fair shot at the American dream.”

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Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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