Day 7: State of the State

State superintendent Debbie Critchfield joined legislators, elected officials and members of the public at the Idaho Statehouse Monday to listen to Gov. Brad Little’s State of the State and budget address, where he outlined his priorities for the upcoming year.

The governor announced proposals to boost teacher and school staff pay, increase discretionary money for school districts and create a new scholarship fund for high school graduates.

Superintendent Debbie Critchfield waits with others invited to listen to Gov. Brad Little’s State of the State address on Monday.

The state superintendent said she’s excited about Little’s “Idaho First” agenda.

“Once again, I see that Governor Little is demonstrating his commitment to education,” Critchfield said.

Following the speech, Critchfield held a media advisory for Statehouse reporters. Joined by SDE communications director Scott Graf, chief of staff Greg Wilson and SDE chief financial officer Gideon Tolman, the superintendent answered questions and gave her reactions to the address.

For more from the governor’s State of the State address, click here.

Little’s goals align well with Critchfield’s. Recruiting and retaining teachers, boosting career-technical education, and supporting parental choice were all main tenets of the new superintendent’s election campaign.

“I don’t want to reference the campaign trail anymore, because I’m in office, but it’s important for me that I deliver on those things that got me elected,” Critchfield said. “I heard all of those things stated by the governor…Knowing now in a more formal way that we’re going to position ourselves in a way to be a partner, to work with people, is good.”

But the superintendent knows she can’t rely on the governor’s agenda alone. She’s prepared to work on her own end to achieve their shared goals, she said.

Critchfield also held an informal meet-and-greet at the State Department of Education Monday morning, another effort to get to know the more than 100 employees at the government agency.

Following the governor’s address and media advisory, Critchfield went to a legislative reception hosted by the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry — a lobby organization that represents hundreds of Idaho businesses and industries.

Sadie Dittenber

Sadie Dittenber

Reporter Sadie Dittenber focuses on K-12 policy and politics. She is a College of Idaho graduate, born and raised in the Treasure Valley. You can follow Sadie on Twitter @sadiedittenber and send her news tips at [email protected].

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