Monday, January 20, 2014

Education Week at the Capitol

Education week in Boise began at 8 a.m. with a presentation from Idaho State Board of Education President Don Soltman. Here are some quick facts from his presentation:

SBOE President Don Soltman
presented to JFAC today at 8 a.m.
Soltman said Idaho education may be
at a tough place now, but with
further funding will improve.

  • Idaho's high school graduation rate is currently within the top 10 in the country at 84%
  • The state's rate of high school grads next entering into post-secondary education is one of the nation's lowest at 46%, having just fallen from 49% in 2012
  • Here's Idaho breakdown of higher-ed student demographics:
    • Academic Undergraduate: 82,716 students
    • Graduate/Professional: 12,700
    • Professional/Technical: More than 4,000

The SBOE is pushing for reform in what Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter coined "K-through-Career" education to achieve what could be a touch feat - 60% of all Idahoans between the ages of 25-34 to earn a professional or technical certificate by year 2020. The state is currently sitting at 35%, (5% lower than the national average) but Soltman didn't have data on whether that number was influenced by or included students whom have left the state for higher-ed opportunities.

SBOE is aiming for 60% following a survey taken on 450 Idaho business leaders. Following the survey, they found that business leaders project 67.4% of all Idaho jobs will require a professional/technical certificate or diploma.

"Education makes a difference for our economy and our individuals - it's an investment," Soltman said. "I know we have a challenge convincing our population to invest in education."

The SBOE will present again Friday, Jan. 24. More information to come.

Twitter: @crchloerambo | Instagram: @crchloerambo | The Argonaut

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