Funding formula committee continues its homework Friday

A legislative committee will continue digging into Idaho’s school funding formula Friday.

The committee will spend the morning hearing from a national expert on school funding, Marguerite Roza of Georgetown University.

Roza is no stranger to the Idaho Statehouse. She spoke in January to a joint meeting of the House and Senate education committees, urging lawmakers to provide districts with local spending authority, while building a formula that is built to last and built to reflect the current education system.

That, in a nutshell, is the challenge facing the funding formula committee. For more than a year, the 10-member panel has been studying a complex formula that hasn’t been rewritten since 1994. Advocates for change say the 1994 formula doesn’t incorporate changes in the K-12 system, such as online learning and charter schools.

The committee could have recommendations for the 2018 legislative session.

After hearing from Roza Friday morning, the committee has blocked out some time to discuss simulator software — computer programs that will allow lawmakers to test out changes in the funding formula.

Bluum, a Boise nonprofit supporting school choice, gave the committee a presentation on simulator software in August. The committee will review the Bluum software Friday.

The committee meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday in room EW 41 on the Statehouse’s basement garden level.

Check back Friday for full meeting coverage.

Disclosure: The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation funds Idaho Education News and Bluum, and funded the Bluum simulator software.

Kevin Richert

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television; and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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