Goedde backs off priority list for ed reform

Sen. John Goedde is backing away from his belief that the interim education committee he co-chairs prioritize the list of 20 recommendations from Gov. Butch Otter’s ed reform task force.

“I am having second thoughts about prioritization,” he told the committee Thursday morning.

Goedde said he met with several school superintendents recently and all of them said the task force’s proposal restoring the lost $82.5 million in operational funding was their top priority. But after there was no agreement on what should be No. 2, or No. 3.

School district are too varied, Goedde said, and might not fit the mold of a priority list. It could be hard to ask educators or the interim committee to rank the proposals, he said.

But that discussion could still go forward, he acknowledged.

Goedde, R- Coeur d’ Alene, had said without a clear road map on where lawmakers ought to go, legislators could be left with a bunch of ideas and a price tag that approaches $400 million “My fear is the Legislature is going to say ‘No way in heck we can do this,’ and not take any of the recommendations seriously,” Goedde told the Statesman earlier this week.

Goedde said he made his decision after meeting with educators.

Tom Luna, state superintendent of public instruction and a member, along with Goedde, said a prioritization of recommendations could be counter productive.

“This isn’t a list of great ideas and pick whichever one you think you want to implement,”  he said earlier this week. “This is a comprehensive plan for improving education. If you ignore or don’t address one, the others aren’t going to be as successful.”

Posted in In The Classroom