State Board sifting through survey on school funding

The State Board of Education asked Idahoans to speak up about school funding — and they did.

Funding meeting
The Legislature’s school funding formula committee has been meeting since the summer, and its work will likely continue past the 2017 legislative session.

About 2,100 people responded to an online survey over 19 days, and now State Board staffers are analyzing the results.

The State Board closed the survey Sunday. Spokesman Blake Youde said it’s too early to draw conclusions from the results. At first glance, he said, the responses appear to represent residents from throughout the state.

The State Board launched the anonymous survey to gather public opinions on the state’s school funding formula — a complex equation that the state hasn’t updated since 1994.

Many lawmakers believe the formula is an outmoded method to carve up $1.5 billion in state dollars, and a legislative committee has been meeting since summer to review it. However, the 10-member panel is not expected to have a proposal ready to present to the 2017 legislative session, which begins in early January.

The State Board will present survey findings at the interim committee’s next meeting, scheduled for Dec. 13.