Back to School: Governor Brad Little reflects on where Idaho’s been and where we’re going in education

Published: Aug. 7, 2023 at 9:46 AM MDT
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BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —“Education is A our moral obligation and B it’s in the Constitution”, says Governor Brad Little.

Education has been a priority of governor brad little since he started his first term in office. Funding, the career ladder, insurance for educators and staff, and teacher pay to recruit new people to the profession.

Something he’s already seen an improvement in.

“What really has been my barometer as of late is the enrolment in our teacher colleges it was starting to go down. The last numbers I looked at it- we were up about 40 percent and that makes me very happy,” Governor Little says.

Teachers are the first key because the Governor wants kids reading by third grade. That’s why he increased funding for literacy and support to screen for dyslexia.

Governor Little says, “There’s no secret I want all our kids reading proficiently by the end of the third grade and it got kind of stalled out a little bit during covid but we’re seeing great recovery because of the things we’ve been doing and the things the school districts have been doing including the school district in twin falls They’ve been doing great work in the literacy area.”

Reading by third grade has been shown to set kids up for success in life. No matter where they’ve come from or what their goals are.

“If they can read by the end of the third grade they’re going to have it much easier. They may not go off and get a master’s or a bachelor’s degree but they’re going to be able to go into the work force and be able to adapt to the changes there.” Governor Little says, “We’re doing a whole bunch in the workforce development at both in the K-12 system and with our launch and our community colleges. And of course CSI, that’s always been their role and they’re going to continue to do more of it going forward.”

Now more than ever Idaho parents have the ability to pick what type of school works best for their kids early on. Something Idaho was recently ranked number one in.

“We just got ranked just in the last six months as the number one state for choice and in other states it’s different in other states you’re stuck in your school district you’re stuck in your zip code and many states they have these urban areas where they have just terrible schools, so charters have gone up there. We don’t have that in Idaho.”

Many of Idaho’s rural areas don’t have the infrastructure to support a charter school and a traditional school. The Governor says in Idaho charters the purpose is to serve as a laboratory for new ideas. And- he hopes to bring some of those tools they have to traditional public schools to become innovative. The governor says he also hopes to improve math, social and emotional learning, and keep restoring the Idaho school system to something we can be proud of.

Governor Little says, “I want people to have pride in our school system and respect the educators and that any student that’s in high school that’s thinking about going on, if they have that gene or basically that thought that they want to teach kids that they go into the teaching profession and that we just continue to recruit the best people because if we’ve got good teachers and we got school administrators we’ll be set up for success for a long long time.”

For more on Back to School, Click Here.