NEWS AND UPDATES
20 December 2019
OP-ED: The fiscal elephant in the room
Written by Rep. Steve Berch
I visit with my District 15 constituents at their door nearly every day to stay current with what concerns them the most. The top two issues almost everyone brings up are education funding and managing growth. Both issues are impacted by a common underlying concern – fiscal management.
How can legislators fund the state’s future needs without continually reaching into your pockets? It may be time to revisit some fiscal policies that haven’t changed in decades...
19 November 2019
OP-ED: School Facilities Funding Needs to be Part of the Conversation
Written by Sen. David Nelson
When I was running for office in 2018, I frequently talked about improving education at all levels in Idaho. People all over Benewah and Latah counties consistently told me that they wanted to improve K-12 education and asked that the state pay a larger and fair share for education, especially for facilities. Since I have been in office, I have tried to stay part of the education conversation and paid special attention to education efforts. I was pleased that Gov. Little set up the “Our Kids, Idaho’s Future” K-12 education task force this summer and I was especially excited about the recommendations they recently submitted.
All-day kindergarten is one of the fundamental building blocks Idaho students need to ensure educational success. It’s amazing that many school districts in my district, like Genesee...
14 November 2019
OP-ED: By failing to prepare, we are preparing to fail
Idaho is a very popular place to live and, as a result, it is at the top of the fastest-growing states in our nation.
Many Idaho cities are experiencing unprecedented population influxes, and there’s no sign that is going to change anytime soon. With more people comes a larger demand on all of our resources and infrastructure.
Preparing for the future is incredibly important for the prosperity and safety of the people of Idaho, and this preparation is a central role of government. Idaho faces a growing population, deteriorating infrastructure and new technology needs. Our lawmakers, businesses and citizens must work together to develop and implement the best plans for our future rather than just doing what is politically expedient. Planning and investment in our future needs to take place across a broad spectrum...
30 October 2019
OP-ED: Rural Teacher Need Student-Loan Debt Relief
Written by Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking and Rep Sally Toone.
The average teacher graduating with their bachelor’s degree is taking on over $26,000 in student loan debt. If a teacher decides that they want to go on to pursue a master’s degree, there is significantly more debt. With those levels of student debt, a brand-new Idaho teacher looks at payments between $200-$400 a month. On a salary of around $40,000 a year, Idaho’s educators are often working two or three jobs just to make loan payments on time. It’s no surprise that teachers leave Idaho for better opportunities in other states...