Idaho schools receive improved grades in statewide survey

Idahoans give the state’s public schools higher grades than they did a year ago.

And they feel even better about the quality of their local schools.

In Boise State University’s annual Public Policy Survey, Idahoans once again listed education as the most important issue facing the state. When they were asked to drill down deeper on public school issues, here’s what respondents had to say:

  • Nearly 37 percent of respondents rated Idaho’s schools as “excellent” or “good,” up from 28 percent in 2016.
  • Nearly 50 percent of respondents said their local school district provided excellent or good education. Those results varied somewhat by region; 55.5 percent of Ada County respondents gave local schools an excellent or good grade, compared to 39 percent of Canyon County respondents.
  • Idahoans split on the question of whether their local district should raise additional tax revenue; 44 percent supported the idea, while 49 percent were opposed. Across Idaho, 93 of 115 school districts have a voter-approved supplemental levy on the books; the districts are collecting a record $188.8 million this year.
  • Idahoans strongly support pre-kindergarten. When given the following statement — “access to high-quality, affordable preschool for children enhances their educational performance in elementary school” — 75 percent of respondents agreed. And 54 percent of respondents said they supported putting state dollars into pre-K, while 44 percent were opposed. Idaho is among a handful of states that does not put state money into pre-K.

The survey was conducted by BSU’s School of Public Service. Between Dec. 3 and Dec. 8, surveyors called 1,000 adults, either on landlines or cell phones. The survey has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

Disclosure: Idaho Education News staff members are Boise State University employees.

Kevin Richert

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 "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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