BOISE-- Gov. Butch Otter has asked the State Board of Education to assemble a task force of people who have a stake in education to find solutions and ideas to make education better in our state.
Idaho voters spoke loudly and clearly on Nov. 6 when they rejected the Students Come First Laws.
The governor believes the people did not like the process, and want more collaboration.
The lawmakers we talked to today, both Democrat and Republican, generally agree with the governor's idea of reaching out to more people, but believe there are things that can be done now.
One of those is finding a home for millions of dollars that were approved for education reform, but now have no dedicated purpose.
There are some things that have to be done as soon as possible. We've got some $30 million floating out there in appropriated funds that have no place to go. We have to fix that, said Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde.
Idaho Democrats are very pleased that the governor has learned the lesson from November 6th. He started out kind of that he might want to do some things and now has come to the realization that the people want the professionals looking at the redesign of education, not the politicians, said Democratic Sen. Elliot Werk.
Another area lawmakers seem to see agreement to move forward on is dual credit funding. In other words, having the state pick up the tab for the college credits some high school students are taking already.
The governor's budget recommendation also includes increased funding for K-12 education and it puts more money back into the education rainy day funds that were pretty much emptied during the recession.