Higher ed task force reconvenes Friday

During its previous meeting, in June, Idaho’s higher education task force confronted a daunting topic: finding room for an additional 40,000 college students.

The discussion continues this week, as the task force reconvenes at Boise State University.

The full committee will meet at 9:30 a.m. Friday at the Stueckle Sky Center at BSU’s Albertsons Stadium. On Thursday, a smaller working group studying funding issues will convene. That meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the State Board of Education’s offices, 650 W. State St.

Friday’s meeting will be streamed at the State Board’s website.

Gov. Butch Otter created the higher ed task force, which includes college and university presidents, business leaders and several state legislators. The group’s charge is to come up with policies to support Idaho’s “60 percent goal.” The state wants 60 percent of its 25- to 34-year-olds to hold a college degree or certificate — but the task force has conceded that Idaho won’t meet this goal by its initial 2020 target date.

But meeting the 60 percent goal also means growing the state’s postsecondary system — perhaps by adding seats for 40,000 new students.

The group is expected to issue its recommendations in September.

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Check back at IdahoEdNews.org Friday afternoon for coverage of the meeting.