The 2014 legislative session "could potentially be more interesting as far as education goes than any session we've had in the last seven years," according to Sen. Stephen Thayn, R-Emmett.
Thayn, a member of the Senate Education Committee, said "the big immediate issue" that members of the Legislature will have to deal with is the recommendations made by Gov. Butch Otter's education task force. "It talks about $80 million over a four- or five-year period. I don't think there is money for that. Hopefully we'll scale back the task force's recommendations."
Legislators will likely find opposition to the notion of scaling back the recommendations. Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting of the Legislature's interim committee on education, Karen Echeveria of the Idaho School Boards Association said that her organization has joined with the Idaho Education Association and the Idaho School Administrators' Association in calling for all of the recommendations to be implemented.
Thayn suggested that some of the suggestions presented to the interim committee for advancing professional-technical education should be taken seriously. "I feel like we're spending too much on university education," Thayn told IdahoReporter.com. "Some of that money should be shifted to professional technical, welding, ag education, computer careers. One thing about a student who gains a professional-technical skill is that they have the ability to produce their own income and afford college later if they want to."
The full report from Otter's task force on improving education can be viewed HERE.