The Division of Children’s Programs includes programs that provide direct educational or material benefits to children, where funding does not primarily go to paying certificated teachers and administrators.
This budget includes a line item for “Literacy Proficiency.” Given that literacy should be a core component of what public schools do, adding another line item in discretionary spending for a core function is an admission of failure. Recall that for the 1999 legislative session, then-Gov. Dirk Kempthorne requested more $5 million for the Idaho Reading Initiative with the goal of having 90 percent of students reading at grade level by the third grade. Some 20 years later the goal has not been met.