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On education spending, we're nearly No. 1

By Wayne Hoffman
June 1, 2011
In response to a report that Idaho’s per student spending is 49th in the nation, the Coeur d’Alene Press ran an article with this headline: “At least we’re not last.” The story came from U.S. Census data, which noted that Idaho spent roughly $7,100 a student in 2008-2009, putting more cash to education than Utah, […]

Otter, Luna win Idaho Freedom Foundation awards for education reform

By Wayne Hoffman
May 20, 2011
Otter, Luna win Idaho Freedom Foundation awards for education reform Nampa resident Maurice Clements recognized for lifetime achievement NAMPA, Idaho -- Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Superintendent Tom Luna won the Idaho Freedom Foundation's "Education Innovation" award Thursday night during a banquet attended by nearly 400 people. IFF Executive Director Wayne Hoffman recognized Otter and […]

More students? More spending. Fewer students? Also more spending.

By Mitch Coffman
May 13, 2011
This table compares the expenditures of eleven Idaho school districts in 1999 and 2008 and shows spending per student increased between ten and 122 percentage points regardless of whether the districts lost or gained students. All numbers are from the Idaho State Department of Education website. TheTwin Falls School District came in first, as it […]

Time for a reform in Higher Education in Idaho

By Erik Makrush
May 10, 2011
The Idaho Legislature spent much of the winter deliberating how to improve K-12 education.  And they implemented reforms that we've long waited for. Next, the Legislature should turn its attention to modernizing and improving our publicly funded higher education programs.  State taxpayers are paying more than one-half of the bill for higher education costs for […]

IEA shows its support for the status quo

By Wayne Hoffman
May 9, 2011
If you’re wondering why Idaho’s public schools operate much the way they did in the 1970s — and why the Idaho Education Association is fighting so hard to keep it that way — take a look at the lawsuit the teachers’ union filed last month to stop education reform legislation. The IEA is suing to […]

Lift the charter school cap

By Mitch Coffman
May 2, 2011
The Idaho House of Representatives closed the 2011 legislative session on a high note when it passed a bill lifting the cap on the number of public charter schools that can be created each year. Charter schools have been hugely important to education reform: demand is high, parents love them and they are accountable in […]

Obamacare mostly dead in Idaho

By Wayne Hoffman
April 27, 2011
In case you were wondering whether Gov. Butch Otter's executive order blocking Obamacare and simultaneous veto of anti-Obamacare legislation should be considered good or bad, here's a clue: Most of the folks in the media are upset. Most view Otter's action as nullification of the federal government's healthcare law. Clearly, Otter's done good. When we […]

To the legislature: support S1184, Public School Modernization and Reform

By Mitch Coffman
March 25, 2011
This letter went to all of Idaho's legislators: The Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF) urges the Legislature to pass Senate Bill 1184, the third part of Superintendent Tom Luna’s “Students Come First” public education reform plan. Smart use of technology has made every other sector of society more efficient and effective. Senate Bill 1184 will make […]

State shouldn't accept Obamacare money

By Wayne Hoffman
March 22, 2011
Even though the state of Idaho is suing the federal government over its Obamacare mandates, the state Senate voted last week to voted to accept $2.5 million in federal funds to start down the path of implementation of Obamacare. By now, you’re certain you misread that last sentence, so I’ll just repeat it: Idaho is […]

Public employees lobbying on the taxpayer’s dime, Part II, Senate Education Committee edition

By Mitch Coffman
March 14, 2011
Idahoans paid approximately $22,694 for 127 public school employees to testify before the Senate Education Committee the week of February 7, 2011. This is more than twice what it cost the taxpayer for public school employees to testify before the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee on January 21. Public school employees came from all over […]
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