After nearly five months of work and 25 meetings, Gov. Brad Little’s K-12 education task force began narrowing its focus Tuesday, writes Clark Corbin of Idaho Education News, paring a list of 11 recommendations to four, with a fifth on the way later this month.
The full “Our Kids, Idaho’s Future” task force pared a list of 11 recommendations to four — with a fifth on the way later this month.
The recommendations from the “Our Kids, Idaho’s Future” task force now include:
- Professional development and access to additional resources tied to better serving students facing social and emotional challenges, including trauma and mental illness.
- Greater opportunities for optional, all-day kindergarten.
- Expanding and building out a third rung of the career ladder salary program, paying out $40,000, $50,000 and $60,000.
- Collapsing state budget earmarks, called line items, and providing more financial flexibility for school districts and charters.
Later this month, the task force will move forward with a fifth recommendation to create an additional accountability system for school superintendents and principals, Corbin reports, using growth in Idaho Reading Indicator scores to compare schools with similar demographics.
Task force members consolidated the list after an hours-long debate, dominated by discussion of student social and emotional well-being and early childhood education.
“All-day kindergarten is probably the most effective recommendation we could put forward if we are looking to improve student achievement in literacy,” Idaho PTA President Erin McCandless said. “Without all-day kindergarten, we are behind and we just have so much catching up to do.”
You can read Corbin's full story here at idahoednews.org.