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Idaho Education NotecardApril 27, 2018

This week’s education and political headlines:

The gubernatorial debates: The GOP. In a campaign defined by negative ad campaigns, it was no surprise that Monday night’s Republican debate had some chippy moments. Rep. Raul Labrador and Boise developer and physician Tommy Ahlquist traded digs and accusations of lying. But along the way, Ahlquist, Labrador and Lt. Gov. Brad Little also staked out their positions on tax cuts, pre-K and a variety of other education topics. More HERE.

The gubernatorial debates: The Democrats. On Sunday night, the Democratic gubernatorial candidates had their turn on statewide TV, and marijuana legalization was a surprising point of contention. Former state Rep. Paulette Jordan said legalization would help patients who want to use marijuana for medicinal purposes, and provide tax revenue for schools. Boise school trustee A.J. Balukoff said he was “pretty much opposed” to legalization. More HERE.

Candidates rip fee hikes. Here’s one issue that unites Little and Balukoff, despite their party affiliation. Both candidates ripped the State Board of Education’s decision last week to boost college tuition and fees by 3.5 percent to 5 percent for in-state students. “We need to make college easier to attend, not harder,” Balukoff said. More HERE.

Closure in New Plymouth? After months of turmoil, embattled New Plymouth school Superintendent Kevin Barker resigned Wednesday night. For months, critics had accused Barker of bullying staff — a charge Barker denied. Trustees had stuck behind Barker, prompting talk of a recall election. More HERE.

Eagle-eyed students. Where does Idaho rank nationally in terms of total land mass? The fourth-graders at Eagle’s Seven Oaks Elementary School know the answer (it’s No. 14), and they noticed the state got it wrong in its biennial Blue Book, an almanac of political, historical and statistical data. On Monday, Secretary of State Lawerence Denney went to Seven Oaks to present the students with an edited version of the Blue Book. More HERE.

Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger with Idaho Education News ( Idaho Education News is an independent news site focused on education policy and politics, funded by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation. Richert has worked in the Idaho news media since 1985, as a reporter, editor and columnist.

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