The 2023 Legislature begins today, preview what’s to come

The first session of the 67th Idaho Legislature gavels in Monday, at noon at the Idaho Statehouse. 

With a huge sum of money waiting to be spent, and record turnover in the Statehouse, the next few months could make for an especially eventful and unpredictable legislative session. 

And education is bound to be a hot topic.

In September, lawmakers set aside $330 million for K-12. With ongoing conversations about school facilities funding and school choice, the debate over how to spend the money is likely to heat up quickly.

And the spending and policy decisions fall to a new-look Legislature, including 45 lawmakers who weren’t in the Statehouse a year ago. Leadership in most key committees — including the House and Senate education committees — has changed. 

And new state superintendent Debbie Critchfield is bringing new ideas to legislators. Critchfield also is vowing to shake things up at the State Department of Education as she takes over for her two-term predecessor, Sherri Ybarra.

Gov. Brad Little will deliver the State of the State address at 1 p.m. Monday to a joint session of the Legislature on the floor of the Idaho House of Representatives. The address will be streamed live on Idaho in Session and broadcast by Idaho Public Television.

Idaho Education News will have full coverage of Monday’s speech. And EdNews reporter Kevin Richert will appear on Idaho Public Television after Little’s address for live analysis.

And EdNews will have full coverage of the session, starting Tuesday, as committees begin their work. Check in for daily coverage.

The session usually lasts three months, but could go longer if necessary.

Preview the session with further reading, listening

LISTEN UP: On his current podcast, Kevin Richert interviews four of the state’s prominent education lobbyists: Matt Compton of the Idaho Education Association; Rod Gramer of Idaho Business for Education; Andy Grover of the Idaho Association of School Administrators; and Quinn Perry of the Idaho School Boards Association. Richert and Boise State Public Radio’s Samantha Wright talk more about the looming school choice debate here.

FURTHER READING: Read profiles of Senate Education Committee chair Dave Lent, and House Education Committee chair Julie Yamamoto.

Find out which legislators make up the Senate Education Committee, the House committee and JFAC, the joint team dedicated to setting budgets. 

Read Richert’s analysis of the debate over school choice and vouchers, and his analysis of what Little and legislative leaders want from the 2023 session.

And take a look at what proposals the Legislature could see to help districts fund school facilities, after a bipartisan interim committee spent three months diving into the issue.

The Idaho School Boards Association will also come to the session with its own legislative priorities — find those here.

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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