With a bold vision for public education, newly elected Republican governor Brad Little is planning big things for the students of Idaho.
A third-generation Idahoan, Gov. Little always knew the value of hard work and service. A graduate of Idaho public schools and the University of Idaho, Little learned the value of a high-quality public education early on.
As lieutenant governor, Little supported efforts to improve conditions for Idaho’s students, teachers, and working families. He supported initiatives to increase the percentage of adults with post-secondary degrees, raise teacher salaries, and incorporate agricultural education programs into the K-12 system, earning him the endorsement of the Idaho Education Association.
As the newly elected governor, Little is determined to close opportunity gaps between children in rural and urban areas and institute a variety of policies to help all of Idaho’s students.
Gov. Little understands that to ensure the best learning for students, Idaho must keep the best educators in the classroom. To accomplish this, Gov. Little intends to raise starting teacher pay to $40,000 and commit additional education dollars to teacher salaries across the board, while adding incentives for educators who choose to teach in Idaho’s rural communities.
The first few years of schooling are critical for student achievement, and Gov. Little wants to make sure those years are a success. To help increase achievement in early grades, Gov. Little plans to implement a reading intervention program to ensure all students leave 3rd grade reading on grade level or higher. Specialized assistance and additional resources will help struggling students graduate 3rd grade on an equal playing field with their peers.
“We have an obligation to our children and to everybody else out there to give them the skills they need to compete in this rapidly changing world.”
Brad Little, Idaho Local Edition
Gov. Little sees higher education and job training as a clear route to future success, saying on his campaign website, “Whether we are sending our children to traditional four-year institutions, community colleges or vocational training, I will ensure those doors are easy to open while simultaneously giving the institutions the tools they need to succeed.”
The newly-elected governor will work to increase dual-enrollment opportunities, and implement a robust career and technical education system to increase opportunities for students who choose not to attend a four-year university. And to help struggling state universities, Gov. Little has proposed a system that would allow schools to keep all sales tax collected on campus and earmark the funds specifically to deal with rising tuition costs.