ERIC Number: ED500306
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Idaho Rural Education Task Force. Public School Information. Legislative Report, 2008
Idaho State Department of Education
The Idaho Rural Education Task Force was formed in July 2007 with the goal of proposing and examining solutions to challenges facing rural schools. The task force's work this year has focused on three areas: recruitment and retention of highly qualified teachers, funding shortages related to insurance costs and staff allowances, and the technology gap between rural and urban schools. Rural districts are challenged to find enough teachers to meet their needs, and often the qualified applicant pool for open positions is very small or non-existent. The situation is becoming more critical due to the increased math and science graduation standards recently adopted by the State of Idaho, elevating need for teachers. To assist districts in retaining teachers and to maximize the use of the current teacher population, the committee made recommendations regarding incentives for teachers who earn qualifications to teach in multiple subject areas and teachers who take on extra leadership duties. Although salaries are often cited as the number one issue in recruitment and retention of highly qualified teachers, insurance and benefits are also key components of teacher compensation: the task force recommends the establishment of a separate line item in the Public Schools budget, beginning in Fiscal Year 2010, dedicated to listing insurance costs and benefits. Although many of Idaho' districts would be considered remote and isolated rather than simply rural, technology and the Internet offer students and teachers access to the world beyond. The task force focused on two elements of technology: connectivity and technology support. Rural schools need adequate Internet access to meet the increasing demands of education and society and substantially increase the potential solutions in many areas of education, such as online remediation and distance learning for teachers and students. The task force is looking at making recommendations for potential collaboration with utilities, private industry, and higher education to assist districts in achieving adequate connectivity. The task force recognizes that the ability to maintain that technology is of equal importance and, therefore, will look to establish funding for a position (or partial position) per school district for technology support. Appendixes include: (1) Senate Bill No. 1236 (selected section); (2) Task Force personnel; and (3) Issues and Solutions Chart.
Descriptors: Rural Schools, Rural Education, Educational Legislation, Teacher Recruitment, Teacher Persistence, Program Budgeting, Health Insurance, Fringe Benefits, Advisory Committees, Operating Expenses, Educational Assessment, Educational Indicators, Educational Planning, Technology Integration
Idaho State Department of Education. 650 West State Street, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0027. Tel: 208-332-6800; Web site: http://www.sde.state.id.us/dept
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: Idaho State Dept. of Education, Boise.
Identifiers - Location: Idaho