Public education in Idaho
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- 1 State agencies
- 2 Regional comparison
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Academic performance
- 5 Educational choice options
- 6 Education funding and expenditures
- 7 Organizations
- 8 Taxpayer-funded lobbying
- 9 Transparency
- 10 Studies and reports
- 11 School districts
- 12 Education ballot measures
- 13 Recent news
- 14 See also
- 15 External links
- 16 References
List of school districts in Idaho
Public education in Idaho
School board elections portal
The mission statement of the Idaho State Department of Education reads:
|“||The Idaho State Department of Education is accountable for the success of all Idaho students. As leaders in education, we provide the expertise and technical assistance to promote educational excellence and highly effective instruction.||”|
Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna and Governor Butch Otter adopted these standards on January 24, 2011. The standards were fully implemented during the 2013-2014 school year.
- See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states and Education spending per pupil in all 50 states
The following chart shows how Idaho compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.
|State||Schools||Districts||Students||Teachers||Teacher/pupil ratio||Administrator/pupil ratio||Per pupil spending|
| Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.|
National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Idaho as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.
|Demographic Information for Idaho's K-12 Public School System|
|Ethnicity||Students||State Percentage||United States Percentage**|
|Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students||963||0.34%||0.42%|
|Two or More||4,717||1.69%||2.54%|
|**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.|
Enrollments by region type
A plurality of students in Idaho attend rural schools. This is the same case for students in Montana. However, students in Oregon and Washington are more likely to attend city schools or suburban schools than rural schools.
|Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)|
|State||City schools||Suburban schools||Town schools||Rural Schools|
|Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD) (timed out)|
- See also: NAEP scores by state
The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Montana, Oregon, and Washington), a smaller percentage of Idaho's students were considered at or above proficient in math and reading in fourth grade.
|Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013|
|Math - Grade 4||Math - Grade 8||Reading - Grade 4||Reading - Grade 8|
|NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013|
Graduation, ACT and SAT scores
|Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*|
|State||Graduation rate, 2012||Average ACT Composite, 2012||Average SAT Composite, 2013|
|Percent||Quintile ranking**||Score||Participation rate||Score||Participation rate|
| *Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).|
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express
- See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states
The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Idaho was lower than the national average at 1.6 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 1.9 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.
Educational choice options
- See also: School choice in Idaho
Education funding and expenditures
- See also: Idaho state budget and finances
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 25.7 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. This is down 2.9 percentage points, a 10.1 percent decrease in the share of the budget from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 28.6 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education. Nearly 64 percent of Idaho's education revenue comes from state funding. Local funding accounts for just over 22 percent, and federal funding accounts for just under 14 percent.
|Comparison of financial figures for school systems|
|State||Percent of budget (2012)||Per pupil spending (2011)||Revenue sources (2011)|
|Percent federal funds||Percent state funds||Percent local funds|
| Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures |
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Idaho totaled approximately $2.2 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Idaho and surrounding states.
|Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Federal revenue||State revenue||Local revenue||Total revenue|
|Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in Idaho totaled approximately $2 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Idaho and surrounding states.
|Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Current expenditures**||Capital outlay||Other***||Total expenditures|
| **Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.|
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
|Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in Idaho, the average salary increased by 2.4 percent.
|Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)|
|**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."|
In 2012, the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Idaho ranked 36th overall, or weak, which was in the fourth tier of five.
The main union related to the Idaho school system is the Idaho Education Association (IEA), an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA). IEA is the largest education association in the state.
List of local Idaho school unions:
- Idaho Education Association
- Pocatello Education Association
- Boise Education Association
- Meridian Education Association
- Blackfoot Education Association
- Bonneville Education Association
Collective bargaining and tenure
The Idaho State Legislature passed Senate Bill 1108, which limited teachers' collective bargaining rights to salary and benefits. It removed issues such as class sizes, teacher workload and promotions from collective bargaining, and it permitted collective bargaining only if the union could prove it represented more than 50 percent of employees. It eliminated tenure for new teachers, with new educators instead being offered one- or two-year contracts following a three-year probationary period.
- See also: Idaho government sector lobbying
The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Idaho School Boards Association.
In March 2010, the Idaho State Senate and Idaho House of Representatives approved a bill that required school districts with more than 300 students to publish their school spending data. The Idaho State Department of Education does list information regarding the state's academic performance at the state, district and school levels.
Studies and reports
Quality Counts 2014
- See also: Quality Counts 2014 Report
Education Week, a publication that reports on many education issues throughout the country, began using an evaluation system in 1997 to grade each state on various elements of education performance. This system, called Quality Counts, uses official data on performance from each state to generate a report card for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report card in 2014 uses six different categories:
- Chance for success
- K-12 achievement
- Standards, assessments and accountability
- The teaching profession
- School finance
- Transitions and Alignment
Each of these six categories had a number of other elements that received individual scores. Those scores were then averaged and used to determine the final score in each category. Every state received two types of scores for each of the six major categories: A numerical score out of 100 and a letter grade based on that score. Education Week used the score for the first category, "chance for success," as the value for ranking each state and the District of Columbia. The average grade received in the entire country was 77.3, or a C+ average. The country's highest average score was in the category of "standards, assessments and accountability" at 85.3, or a B average. The lowest average score was in "K-12 achievement", at 70.2, or a C- average.
Idaho received a score of 74.2, or a C average in the "chance for success" category. This was below the national average. The state's highest score was in "standards, assessments and accountability" at 86.6, or a B+ average. The lowest score was in "school finance" at 60.0, or a D average. The "teaching profession" category nearly matched the state's lowest score, at 60.5. The chart below displays the scores of Idaho and its surrounding states.
Note: Click on a column heading to sort the data.
|Public education report cards, 2014|
|State||Chance for success||K-12 achievement||Standards, assessments and accountability||The teaching profession||School finance||Transitions and Alignment|
|Idaho||74.2 (C)||69.8 (C-)||86.6 (B+)||60.5 (D-)||60.0 (D-)||71.4 (C-)|
|Montana||76.3 (C)||69.7 (C-)||76.3 (C)||69.4 (D+)||73.0 (C)||60.7 (D-)|
|Oregon||74.6 (C)||64.8 (D)||80.1 (B-)||63.5 (D)||71.0 (C-)||85.7 (B)|
|Washington||79.5 (B-)||74.9 (C)||79.1 (C+)||71.4 (C-)||71.6 (C-)||71.4 (C-)|
|United States Average||77.3 (C+)||70.2 (C-)||85.3 (B)||72.5 (C)||75.5 (C)||81.1 (B-)|
| Source: Education Week, "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 18, 2015|
A full discussion of how these numbers were generated can be found here.
State Budget Solutions education study
State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states that spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.
- See also: School board elections portal
School districts in Idaho are split into five categories: elementary school districts, school districts (city/county), joint school districts, specially chartered school districts and junior college districts. Elementary school districts are considered grades one through eight and school districts grades one through 12. All school districts may include kindergarten instruction. There no separate secondary school districts under present law.
- See also: List of school districts in Idaho
The following table displays the state's top seven school districts by total student enrollment:
|1.) Joint School District|
|2.) Boise School District|
|3.) Nampa School District|
|4.) Pocatello-Chubbuck School District No. 25|
|5.) Coeur d'Alene Public Schools|
|6.) Idaho Falls School District No. 91|
|7.) Bonneville Joint School District No. 93|
School board composition
School board members are elected by residents of the school district. School boards in Idaho generally consist of five members that serve four-year terms. However, there is no state law denoting how many board members a district may have or how long the terms need be.
Idaho does not impose statewide term limits on school board members.
- The largest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 is West Ada School District with 36,303 K-12 students.
- The smallest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 is Idaho Falls School District 91 with 10,170 K-12 students.
- Idaho Falls School District 91 and West Ada School District are tied for the most seats on the ballot in 2015 with three seats up for election in both.
- The other four districts are tied for the fewest seats on the ballot in 2015 with two seats up for election in each.
The district listed below served 95,823 K-12 students during the 2010-2011 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Click on the district name for more information on the district and its school board elections.
|2015 Idaho School Board Elections|
|District||Date||Seats up for election||Total board seats||Student enrollment|
|Bonneville Joint School District No. 93||5/19/2015||2||5||10,248|
|Coeur d'Alene Public Schools||5/19/2015||2||5||10,673|
|Idaho Falls School District 91||5/19/2015||3||5||10,170|
|Nampa School District||5/19/2015||2||5||15,556|
|Pocatello-Chubbuck School District No. 25||5/19/2015||2||5||12,873|
|West Ada School District||5/19/2015||3||5||36,303|
Path to the ballot
Under law, any registered Idaho voter may seek election to the school board in the district in which the voter resides if requirements of the law are met. Qualifications for board members are decided by the district and not the state, however, most districts require candidates be:
- A citizen of the United States.
- A registered elector of the school district.
- 18 years of age or older.
- A resident of the trustee zone which he/she shall represent for 30 days.
Idaho does not impose campaign finance guidelines for school board candidates at the state level. Guidelines for reporting are generally set forth by the county or district itself.
Education ballot measures
Ballotpedia has tracked the following statewide ballot measures relating to education.
- Idaho Compulsory School Attendance, SJR 124 (1972)
- Idaho Fund for School Districts, SJR 106 (1998)
- Idaho General Supervision of Educational Institutions, HJR 30 (1912)
- Idaho Increase Annual Sale of School Land, HJR 10 (1920)
- Idaho Increase Funding for Education Initiative, Initiative 1 (2006)
- Idaho Online Learning Veto Referendum, Proposition 3 (2012)
- Idaho Public School Fund, HJR 1 (2000)
- Idaho Public School Permanent Endowment Fund, HJR 6 (1998)
- Idaho Public School Permanent Endowment Fund, HJR 8 (1998)
- Idaho Teachers' Collective Bargaining Veto Referendums, Props. 1 and 2 (2) (2012)
- Idaho University of Idaho Tuition and Fees, SJR 101 (2010)
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Idaho + Education "
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Idaho state budget and finances
- Idaho State Department of Education
- List of school districts in Idaho
- School choice in Idaho
- Charter schools in Idaho
- Education Policy in the U.S.
- Idaho Department of Education
- Idaho Board of Education
- Idaho Public Charter School Commission
- Idaho School Choice
- Idaho State Report Card
- Idaho Public School Budget
- Idaho School Data and Statistics
- Idaho State School Ratings by PSK12
- Idaho School Ratings by Great Schools
- National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
- ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
- United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
- Idaho State Department of Education, "State of Idaho 2009-2010," accessed May 21, 2014
- Idaho State Department of Education, "Communication," accessed May 20, 2014
- Idaho State Department of Education, "Divisions," accessed May 20, 2014
- Idaho State Department of Education, "Vision, Mission and Goals," accessed May 20, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Common Core: State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State,” accessed July 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
- United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
- ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
- Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014 (timed out)
- Maciver Institute, "REPORT: How much are teachers really paid?," accessed October 29, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
- Thomas E Fordham Institute, "How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
- Center for Union Facts, "Idaho teachers unions," accessed October 15, 2009
- FoxNews.com, "Idaho Votes to Phase Out Teacher Tenure, Restrict Collective Bargaining," March 9, 2011
- Reuters, "Idaho teachers unions protest against proposed cuts," February 22, 2011
- FoxNews.com, "Idaho Cripples Union Power," March 9, 2011
- All Headline News, "Idaho teachers protest proposed overhaul," February 22, 2011
- Idaho Education Association, "Despite public opposition, Luna bills go to full Senate," February 18, 2011
- Idaho Reporter, "School financial transparency bill passes House," March 24, 2010
- Education Week "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 19, 2015
- United States Census, "Idaho," accessed July 10, 2014
- State of Idaho, "Idaho Statutes," accessed July 10, 2014
- New York Times, "Idaho Legislature Repeals Term Limit Law, Undoing Voter-Approved Measure," February 2, 2002
- SD 365, "Board Member Policies," accessed July 10, 2014
- Idaho Secretary of State, "Idaho," accessed July 10, 2014
State of Idaho
|State executive officers||
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