Lawmakers likely to look at pilots

Discovery Elementary School
Meridian’s Discovery Elementary School, one of 11 schools sharing in $3 million in state technology pilot grants.

The chairmen of the Legislature’s education committees say they haven’t been spending too much time tracking the state’s 11 technology pilot projects.

But that will change when the 2014 Legislature convenes.

Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde says he will hold hearings on the pilots, so committee members can hear from the participating schools — and so other school administrators can learn from the pilot programs.

House Education Committee Chairman Reed DeMordaunt is encouraged by what he’s heard about the pilots; two are under way in Meridian, in the Eagle Republican’s corner of the state. But he wants to drill down and learn more.

The legislation that set up the $3 million grant program requires applicants to report annually on how they have used their money, “and the student growth results from those uses.”

“(I’d) like to go back to that criteria and see how those things are measuring up,” DeMordaunt said Thursday.

Lawmakers may also have to decide whether they want to put more money into additional tech pilot programs. State superintendent Tom Luna’s 2014-15 budget proposal contains a $3 million line item that could be applied to pilots. For a closer look at the funding prospects, here’s a link to our story from Thursday.

Here are in-depth stories on the state’s 11 technology pilot schools:

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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