Senate Bill 1046 — Innovation classrooms

Senate Bill 1046 — Innovation classrooms

by
Anna Miller
February 4, 2021

Bill Description: Senate Bill 1046 allows for groups of students in public schools to form “innovation classrooms” where teachers can personalize curriculum and teaching methods to students' individual needs.

Rating: 0

Amendment Analysis: This bill was amended to allow school districts the option to refuse to allow groups of 24 students to form innovation classrooms. This gives school districts the power to prohibit students and parents from starting an innovation classroom and withhold funds. This amendment changed the rating from at +1 to a 0.

Does it give government any new, additional or expanded power to prohibit, restrict or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market? 

Senate Bill 1046 allows students and teachers to form independent classrooms at public schools, where curriculum and instructional material can be personalized based on student needs. Parents of students at public schools would be able to enroll their children in these innovation classrooms and have more autonomy over what their children learn. Innovation classrooms could  be structured based on families’ preferences for how instruction is delivered — classrooms can be virtual, hybrid or in-person. Parents of the students in the classroom must agree upon a state certified teacher who will be providing instruction. 

(+1)

This bill allows education tax dollars to follow students who choose to participate in the innovation classrooms. School districts must fund innovation classrooms in “an amount substantially similar to funds apportioned for instruction of students at the same grade level who do not participate in innovation classrooms." The bill does not limit the number of innovation classrooms allowed in a public school district. If 24 or more parents agree to enroll their children in an innovation classroom, the school district must provide funds for participating students. Overall, Senate Bill 1056 decentralizes government control over public school classrooms which will lead toward a more flexible education marketplace.

(+1) 

Does it transfer a function of the private sector to the government?

Examples include government ownership or control of any providers of goods or services such as the Land Board’s purchase of a self-storage facility, mandatory emissions testing, or pre-kindergarten. Conversely, does it eliminate a function of government or return a function of government to the private sector?

This bill has the potential to encourage groups of students who would have otherwise formed independent learning pods to consider, instead, operating under the authority of the school district and state board of education. 

(-1)

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