Look ahead: State Board to consider K-12 funding change and college fee hikes this week

The State Board of Education will this week consider temporarily changing the way Idaho funds K-12 schools, fee increases at four-year institutions and an appeal from an embattled charter school hoping to avoid a permanent closure.

The State Board’s meeting is set for Wednesday and Thursday at the University of Idaho.

The event will be live streamed both days here. EdNews will have coverage. Go here for meeting materials.

A few things to watch for:

Thursday: another one-year K-12 funding overhaul?

The State Board will again consider a temporary rule to use student enrollment, not average daily attendance, to carve up K-12 tax dollars for the 2022-23 school year.

The State Board approved the switch in each of the last two school years in an effort to delink school funding from volatile pandemic-era attendance numbers.

Lawmakers this session approved a bill to make that switch permanent, but Gov. Brad Little vetoed it last month, saying he’d support another temporary switch if attendance dropoffs surface.

If approved, the change would expire after the 2023 Legislature adjourns.

Wednesday: possible fee hikes at four-year institutions

Earlier this year, Idaho’s college and university presidents pledged not to ask the State Board for increases to undergraduate resident tuition — for the third straight year.

But the institutions are asking for increases in mandatory consolidated student fees that fall into four standardized fee categories:

  • Student enrollment, engagement and success.
  • Institutional operations, services and support.
  • Student health and wellness.
  • Student government.

Earlier this year, the State Board revised a policy to let students opt out of fees that support certain student activities, clubs and organizations.

Thursday: a charter school’s appeal to stay open

An online school of some 500 K-12 students is asking the State Board to reconsider a prior order that it close its doors for good this summer.

Another Choice Virtual Charter School is appealing the Idaho Public Charter School Commission’s Feb. 11 decision not to renew the school’s performance certificate. The commission cited problems ranging from low and stagnant student achievement to various board and administrative oversight issues.

The commission’s decision included a directive for the school to begin closure procedures on June 30.

State Board staff recommends the appointment of a hearing officer as a first step in considering Another Choice’s appeal. The appointed officer would be required to hold a public hearing within 43 days of Thursday’s State Board meeting, and make a recommendation to the board, which would have final say.

Devin Bodkin

Devin Bodkin

EdNews assistant editor and reporter Devin Bodkin is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He lives and works in East Idaho. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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