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State Board of Education extends K-12 funding rule until end of fiscal year

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BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) - The Idaho State Board of Education on Wednesday extended its temporary rule to continue calculating public school funding on enrollment rather than average daily attendance (ADA) for the remainder state fiscal year, which covers the current school year.

Early in the pandemic, the board used its rule making authority to use enrollment, rather than ADA as the basis for funding in response to large decreases in daily attendance caused by COVID-19. Three years later, approximately 80% to 85% of enrolled K-12 students are attending school on any given day compared to approximately 95% prior to the pandemic.

The change back to ADA rather than enrollment is expected to decrease public school funding statewide by more than $100 million during the 2023/24 academic year.

The Board directed staff to plan a special Board meeting later this spring to discuss the issue further.

Other actions during the second day of the Board’s regular April meeting at the University of Idaho campus in Moscow include:

  • Approved Boise State University’s request to construct a new six story student residence hall to house 450 freshman students. Boise State will come back to the Board later this year to seek approval of its financing plan. The project is expected to cost $70 million. Boise State’s financing plan includes issuance of general revenue bonds and institutional reserve funds.
  • Approved Idaho State University’s master plan for expansion of its 22-acre health sciences campus in Meridian. The master plan envisions future development of more than 1 million square feet of classroom, laboratory and student residence space.

Election of New Officers

The Board concluded its meeting by electing new executive officers. Dr. Linda Clark replaces Kurt Liebich as Board President; Bill Gilbert replaces Dr. Clark as Board Vice President; and Debbie Critchfield, Idaho’s Superintendent of Public Instruction will serve as Board Secretary. The new executive team will serve for one year. Mr. Liebich and Dr. Hill both continue to serve as Board members.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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