Nearly $22 million devoted to Idaho Core training

The Idaho State Department of Education sent a memo this week to all superintendents and charter school administrators detailing the nearly $22 million available for professional development and other activities related to the implementation of the Idaho Core Standards.

Idaho educators will be required to teach to the standards this fall. Teachers have expressed concerns that not enough funding has been devoted to training for this implementation. These concerns were regularly shared during the education task force public hearings and membership meetings.

Here is a breakdown of the funding that is available over the next year and where that funding is generated:

  1. Idaho Core Standards Professional Development: $3.75 million was appropriated in the FY14 Public Schools Budget for the Idaho State Department of Education to deliver professional development to schools and districts. The state is organizing focus groups with teachers and school administrators to plan for effective use of the money. Total: $3.75 million
  2. Excellence in Teaching Awards: $21 million was appropriated in the FY14 Public Schools Budget to be distributed directly to local school districts and public charter schools to use for differential pay and professional development. Of the total $21 million appropriated, districts/charter schools can spend up to 40% (or $8.4 million) on professional development, including buying time. Total: $8.4 million
  3. House Bill 65: HB 65 dealt with funding in the FY13 Public Schools Appropriation. Through HB 65, an estimated $5.4 million in state funding was shifted to be distributed directly to local school districts and public charter schools to be used specifically for professional development activities related to the implementation of Idaho Core Standards, the transition to the new assessment, and the integration of digital content in the classroom. This funding will be distributed to school districts in two disbursements: a $15,000 base allocation in the current FY2013 to each district or charter school to develop a three-year Professional Development Plan predicated on the implementation of these initiatives to instructional staff. In addition, there will be a secondary allocation based on the calculation of $150 per Instructional Staff FTE per district or charter school in FY2014. Total: $5.4 million
  4. JKAF Matching Funds: $4.5 million was appropriated in the FY14 Public Schools Budget to be used on the implementation of the statewide instructional management system, known as Schoolnet. An estimated $1.5 million of the $4.5 million appropriated will be used to continue a statewide contract with Discovery Education and the development of examples of curricular materials and assessments available in Schoolnet. These resources assist teachers with implementation of Idaho Core Standards. Total: $1.5 million
  5. Idaho Leads Project: The Idaho Leads Project has received nearly $3 million in funding from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation to continue its efforts over the next year in working with more than 60 school districts and public charter schools. Over the next year, Idaho Leads will focus on the implementation of Idaho Core Standards in these participating school districts. Total: $2.85 million

(These resources total an estimated $21.9 million. Of this total, an estimated $13.8 million will flow directly to local school districts and public charter schools to be used at their discretion as they implement the standards over the next fiscal year.)

For more information, contact:

  • Scott Cook, Content Director, who is leading Idaho’s effort to implement the new Idaho Core Standards statewide.
  • Alex Macdonald, Instructional Technology Director, who is in charge of the $5.4 million distribution as well as the Discovery Education training.

Disclosure: Both Idaho Ed News and the Idaho Leads Project are funded by a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.