Legislative roundup, 2.16.21: Senate passes advanced opportunities expansion, and a big tax bill surfaces
The Senate signed off on extending the state’s advanced opportunities program to private and parochial school students. Meanwhile, the first big tax relief bill of the year surfaced Tuesday.
Idaho’s advanced opportunities program is growing, and lawmakers will consider a record $20 million budget for next year. But college go-on numbers are static — even as more students take advantage of the dual-credit programs.
By providing free college-level classes in high school, Idaho hopes to encourage a new generation of college students. The results have been mixed.
More Idaho students are graduating high school with Advanced Placement credits — and a jumpstart on college. But Idaho’s numbers still lag well behind national averages.
In 2016-17, 27,859 junior and senior high school students took college-level classes. But students of color and students in poverty are less likely to take advantage of the state’s program.
The Public Education Stabilization Fund is Idaho’s budget reserve for covering unexpected K-12 costs. The account is expected to dip to its lowest level in five years.
Free college classes in high school. More college scholarships. More college and career counselors. But Idaho still struggles to convince high school graduates to continue their education. Why? Part one of a four-story series.