State Board to weigh higher education recommendations

Members of the State Board of Education will meet Friday in Boise to discuss a series of higher education reform recommendations issued earlier this month.

Two weeks ago, Gov. Butch Otter’s higher education task force voted unanimously to issue 12 recommendations that range from pushing back the state’s flagship “60 percent” post-secondary education completion goal to making scholarships more accessible to a wider range of students.

Now that those recommendations have started circulating, the State Board wants to assess them and analyze how they may affect the education budgets and drive the 2018 legislative agenda.

Friday’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. at the State Board’s office, 650 W. State St.

Otter announced the formation of the higher education task force in January, on the eve of the 2017 legislative session. The panel of 35 education, political and business leaders was modeled after Otter’s K-12 task force, which issued a series of wide-ranging public school reform recommendations in 2013.

The previous K-12 task force’s recommendations are still being implemented, but many of them set the education agenda for legislative sessions over the past four years.

The newer higher education recommendations also include creating a statewide “digital campus” and transitioning to an outcomes-based model of funding that could be based partially on the number of degrees awarded and include financial incentives for a university’s on-time graduation rates.

Check back with Idaho Education News late Friday afternoon for coverage of the meeting.

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