In his 12th and final “State of the State” address, Gov. Butch Otter celebrated Idaho’s education gains with a firm focus on improving early literacy efforts and student-centered pathways to success in careers and in life.
In the upcoming state budget, Otter supports an additional $6.5 million to expand early literacy interventions for struggling readers, recognizing the critical nature of ensuring all students read at grade level by 3rd grade.
“For all of us, literacy is essential to developing the other skills needed to advance successfully through life. Thousands of Idaho children start their educational journey already reading below grade level. That leaves many of them struggling throughout their school years and beyond while requiring educators to employ more costly remedial reading programs,” said Otter in prepared remarks. “We must provide a timely boost for these children before the focus of their education moves from the fundamental skill of reading to the applied skill of reading to learn.”
Otter also touted an expansion of a mastery-based education pilot program to more schools and touted his workforce development task force recommendations which includes industry certification incentives to strengthen “homegrown talent pipelines.”
Otter said it is critical that “we invest in expanding capacity at our post-secondary technical schools, in providing additional incentive funding for high school career-technical programs, and in expanding (career and technical education) offerings to the seventh and eighth grades.”
“Our five-year plan for improving public schools is a watershed achievement for Idaho. With strong and diverse stakeholder involvement, with buy-in from educators, patrons and policy makers – and with your continuing leadership and support – Idaho will keep building a world-class education system,” said Otter.
For more on Gov. Otter’s State of the State address, go to the Governor’s website.