Governor's education task force back at work in Boise

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- It's round two for the governor's Education Task Force which reconvened at Boise State Monday, then split into two groups to deal with some major issues left on the table from this past legislative session .

"One is fiscal stability and great teachers and leaders," said Meridian School Superintendent Lina Clark, a task force member, "and the other is recommendations made about changing the structure of education in Idaho."

The role of the task force is to provide lawmakers with a road map, so to speak, a way to help the public education system recover from the ravages of recession.

Gov. Butch Otter created the task force last year, asking members to come up with recommendations to improve the state's education system.

Last session, lawmakers embraced the work of the task force but none of its recommendations was fully implemented.

"Well, there were about 13 of the 20 recommendations that we did something with," said Sen. John Goedde, chairman of the Senate Education Committee. The Coeur d'Alene Republican also serves on the task force.

The 2014 Legislature increased education spending by 5.1 percent or about $66 million.

Lawmakers also put more money into discretionary spending and they established leadership premiums for teachers.

"Which is a reward for doing work above and beyond normal duties of an educator," said Sen. Goedde.

The cost to implement all of the task force's recommendations could exceed $400 million and take five years.