Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra is the state’s advocate for school children and articulates her goals for public education in Idaho in terms of outcomes for students. The State Department of Education provides the necessary support for schools and students to achieve.

Goal 1: All Idaho students persevere in life and are ready for college and careers

Implementing Recommendations of the Task Force for Improving Education (K-12)

In 2013 the Task Force for Improving Education (K-12) recommended twenty ways Idaho could better prepare students to achieve success. These recommendations have helped shape State Department of Education initiatives and objectives. Superintendent Ybarra’s FY 2020 budget request includes funding to continue implementing the recommendations, including Master Educator Premiums, Advanced Opportunities, mastery-based learning expansion, and professional development. Overall, the FY 2020 request provides an additional $221 per support unit (3.5% increase over the prior fiscal year) and $122 million in new General Funds (6.8% increase over the prior fiscal year).

Goal 2: All education stakeholders in Idaho are mutually responsible for accountability and student progress

Launching Keep Idaho Students Safe (KISS)

Idaho students can’t afford to wait for us to invest in school safety and security. That’s why Superintendent Ybarra seeks a supplemental request for FY 2019 to fund this multi-pronged school safety initiative. The total cost to implement KISS across both fiscal 2019 and 2020 years is $20,001,300, with an ongoing operating cost of $1,501,300. More information is available on the KISS webpage.

Goal 3: Idaho attracts and retains great teachers and leaders

Strengthening the Career Ladder to Improve Teacher Pay

Superintendent Ybarra’s FY 2020 budget request includes funding the Career Ladder’s fifth year and adjusting the salary rungs to reach the pay levels originally recommended by the Task Force for Improving Education (K-12). This request increases the salary for a newly credentialed teacher to $37,200 and recognizes experienced teachers with salaries ranging from $49,401 to $52,000.

Building a Teacher Pipeline to Bolster Rural Schools

The Teacher Pipeline includes three new programs, at a cost of $980,000, to help address the critical teacher shortage in Idaho’s rural schools and school districts including: Grow Your Own, Rural Teacher Fellowship, and Certification Retention Bonus.


  • HB218 – Idaho Rural Teacher Recruitment and Retention Act: This legislation creates a Rural Teacher Pipeline Initiative to help address the critical teacher shortage in Idaho’s rural school districts. It includes research-based strategies being used in many other states to address teacher recruitment and retention. The Grow Your Own program would require a partnership between the State Department of Education, the State Board of Education and a local rural school district to provide funding for a paraprofessional or classified staff member in the district to cover the cost of earning their teaching certificate through an approved course of study. In exchange for payment of tuition, the individual would commit to work in the same school or district for three years after completion. The Rural Teacher Fellowship would create a teacher fellowship program for upper division students enrolled in an Idaho public postsecondary teacher preparation program who commit to teach in a rural school or district for three years following completion of the fellowship. The Department of Education would identify geographic areas within the state and specific content areas where shortages exist. The program would provide up to $10,000 to each fellow to use for costs of attendance during the fellowship. The Certification and Retention Bonus would provide a $6,000 stipend for teachers or other professional providers in a rural district who are pursuing additional education or another certification to address a hard-to-fill need in a rural school. The stipend could be used to complete the required course work leading to certification or an alternative path to licensure. Individuals receiving the stipend would commit to teaching in the specific district for three years. These programs would be administered by the State Department of Education in coordination with the State Board of Education. The legislation includes a five year sunset clause.
  • SB1057 – School Improvement Plan: This legislation seeks to eliminate duplicate reporting of student achievement data to the state. District and charter school student achievement data is now reported in the State Department of Education's online school report card at www.idahoschools.org. There is no longer a need for the district or charter school's continuous improvement plans to include this data. The bill removes the individual metrics now required to be submitted as part of the continuous improvement plans. The continuous improvement plans would, instead, simply point to the district or charter school's report card.
  • SB1059 – Mastery-based Education: The legislation removes the existing statutory cap on the mastery-based education initiative to allow additional districts and schools to participate and be eligible to apply for a grant to support their transition to a mastery-based education model. The cap was put into place as the mastery initiative began in order to create an incubator cohort of schools. Since that time, the Idaho Mastery Education Network has been developed to support the incubator schools as they complete their design phase and move into implementation. The legislation recognizes the Idaho Mastery Education Network and its role to work with schools and districts to identify barriers to implementing a mastery-based education model, make recommendations to the Supt. of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education on how to scale and sustain mastery-based education, and further support Idaho's long-term transition to mastery education by encouraging incremental experimentation in schools. Additional schools and districts have indicated interest in participating in the mastery-based education network.
  • SB1108 – Driver Training, Scholarships: This legislation increases the reimbursement districts receive for administering their driver training programs, from up to $125 to up to $150 per student completing the program. Additional language has been added to provide need-based scholarships for students and driver education programs. The reimbursement helps districts with the costs to operate the program and defrays expenses for students to continue this valuable education and training. As costs have risen to run the program, districts and students have been forced to pay more in an effort to sustain the program. A portion of every Idaho resident's driver license fee goes into the driver education account to pay for driver education reimbursement to districts. Because the reimbursement limit has not changed since 1996, the balance of the driver education account has continued to grow as Idaho's population expands and more individuals are paying driver license fees. Currently, there are 115 school districts receiving reimbursement from the State Department of Education. There is sufficient funding available in the driver education account to raise the reimbursement rate and meet the needs of the program at the school district level, as well as reduce the cost to students and parents.
  • Administrative Rules: Any change to the State Department of Education’s administrative rules is subject to a comprehensive review process that includes public input, approval by the Idaho State Board of Education, and approval by the Idaho Legislature.
Date Body Topic
1/14/2019 House Education Committee
(Moon Subcommittee)
Docket No. 08-0203-1801
Rules Governing Thoroughness
Dr. Charlie Silva, Director of Special Education, SDE
1/14/2019 Senate Education Committee Stakeholder Overview
Marilyn Whitney, Deputy Superintendent Communications and Policy, SDE
1/15/2019 Senate Education Committee Mastery Based Education Presentation
Kelly Brady, Director of Instructional Support for Student Centered Learning, SDE
1/16/2019 House Education Committee
(Moon Subcommittee)
Docket No. 08-0203-1805
Rules Governing Thoroughness
Helen Price, Board Materials & Rules Specialist, SDE
1/16/2019 House Education Committee Advanced Opportunities Program Report
Dr. Tina Polishchuk, Statewide Coordinator, SDE
1/16/2019 Senate Education Committee Docket No. 08-0203-1805
Rules Governing Thoroughness
Helen Price, Board Materials & Rules Specialist, SDE
1/17/2019 House Education Committee
Ehardt Subcommittee
Docket No. 08-0202-1801
Rules Governing Uniformity
Helen Price, Board Materials & Rules Specialist, SDE
1/21/2019 Senate Education Committee Docket No. 08-0202-1801
Rules Governing Uniformity
Helen Price, Board Materials & Rules Specialist, SDE
1/22/2019 Senate Education Committee Docket No. 08-0203-1801
Rules Governing Thoroughness
Helen Price, Board Materials & Rules Specialist, SDE
1/23/2019 House Education Committee
(Moon Subcommittee)
Docket No. 08-0203-1805
Rules Governing Thoroughness
Helen Price, Board Materials & Rules Specialist, SDE
1/24/2019 Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee Public School Support Budget
Supt. of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra, SDE
1/24/2019 Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee SOPI Budget
Supt. of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra, SDE
1/24/2019 Senate Education Committee Teacher of the Year Presentation
Marc Beitia, Agriculture Instructor, American Falls High School
1/24/2019 Senate Education Committee Advanced Opportunities Presentation
Dr. Tina Polishchuk, Statewide Coordinator, SDE
1/25/2019 House Education Committee Teacher of the Year Presentation
Marc Beitia, Agriculture Instructor, American Falls High School
1/28/2019 House Education Committee Budget Priorities Report
Supt. of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra, SDE
1/29/2019 House Education Committee
(Ehardt Subcommittee)
Docket No. 08-0202-1801
Rules Governing Uniformity
Helen Price, Board Materials & Rules Specialist, SDE
2/4/2019 House Education Committee Mastery-Based Education Presentation
Supt. of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra, Kelly Brady, Director of ISSCL, SDE
2/6/2019 Senate Education Committee RS26692 Relating to Education - Continuous Improvement Plan
Marilyn Whitney, Deputy Superintendent, Communiations and Policy, SDE
2/6/2019 Senate Education Committee RS26697 Relating to Education - Mastery-Based Education
Marilyn Whitney, Deputy Superintendent, Communiations and Policy, SDE
2/7/2019 Joint House & Senate Education Committees Draft Pubic School Funding Formula Legislation Stakeholder Agency Comments
Supt. of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra, SDE
2/8/2019 House Education Committee Docket No. 08-0203-1801
Rules Governing Thoroughness
Helen Price, Board Materials & Rules Specialist,SDE
2/8/2019 House Education Committee Docket No. 08-0203-1805
Rules Governing Thoroughness
Helen Price, Board Materials & Rules Specialist, SDE