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Otter signs parts of the K-12 budget

Gov. Butch Otter signed three pieces of the 2014-15 K-12 budget Wednesday — but he hasn’t yet acted on the biggest piece of the $1.37 billion budget. The three bills Otter signed Wednesday account for about two-fifths of the overall

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Breaking down the Idaho school broadband budget deal

Legislative budget-writers have cut a deal — and drafted a plan — to keep Idaho’s high school broadband network online through February. On Thursday, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee approved a $4.8 million bailout for the beleaguered Idaho Education Network. This would

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Movement on the pre-K pilot bill

A bill to establish a pre-K pilot program will at least get a hearing this session. The bill will be on Monday morning’s House Education Committee agenda. No public testimony will be taken, committee Chairman Reed DeMordaunt said. That is

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Budget-writers moving slowly on $14 million broadband request

A week after getting hit with a surprise $14.45 million bill for high school broadband service, legislative budget-writers are trying to figure out their next move. Gov. Butch Otter is pushing for the money — designed to keep the Idaho Education Network afloat through June 30,

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Budget-writers focus in on 60 percent postsecondary goal

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee’s “Education Week” began Monday morning with a few questions about the State Board of Education’s main goal: convincing 60 percent of Idahoans to pursue a postsecondary degree. Don Soltman, State Board of Education State Board president Don

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Idaho lawmaker: Ditch Common Core-based exam

A multistate exam designed to support the new Idaho Core Standards is a form of “extreme testing,” and it should be scrapped, state Sen. Steven Thayn said Tuesday. Sen. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett Thayn, R-Emmett, said the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium exam could

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Pre-K proposal: a question of perspectives

In hailing a pre-K pilot bill as a “no-brainer,” Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney ran through some numbers Monday. Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney Communities that have robust pre-K programs have lower crime rates, to the tune of 20 percent.

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Pre-K bill gets some GOP backing

Rep. Hy Kloc, D-Boise Boise Democratic Rep. Hy Kloc is getting some Republican backing in his attempt to launch a pre-kindergarten pilot bill. Rep. Douglas Hancey, R-Rexburg, has signed on to the bill, which would create five pre-K pilot schools around

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State of the State reaction-o-rama

By now, you’ve digested the key points in Gov. Butch Otter’s proposed K-12 budget. Otter wants to reverse $35 million in recession-era cuts to school district operations budgets. He also proposes no pay raises for teachers. Here’s a roundup of

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Otter pledges a five-year plan to overhaul K-12

In a question-and-answer session with reporters, Gov. Butch Otter also reaffirmed his support for the Idaho Core Standards. Setting the stage for the 2014 legislative session — and for several legislative sessions to follow — Gov. Butch Otter says he

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