#4 Enable Local Control and Individual Choice
State centralized directions, especially in Idaho with its large geographic area and rural populations, can hinder local school flexibility and create inefficiencies when specialization is needed. Local control can promote experimentation by districts and, when supported with statewide performance accountability measures, can work to substantially improve student outcomes. Centralization can also present headwinds when it comes to innovation and improvements for Idaho’s families and students. Charter schools are an example of how increased autonomy can promote innovation in Idaho while maintaining accountability and local control.1 In return for enabling local control, measures of accountability should be imposed. As it now stands, districts receive the same amount of funding regardless of how they perform.2
1 ECONorthwest. (2014). Shifting Sands: Idaho’s Changing Student Demographics and What it Means for Education. Portland, OR: ECONorthwest; Hill. (2013).
2 School appropriations are distributed according to Idaho State Legislature. (2018). Title 33, Education: Chapter 10, Foundation Program – State Aid – Apportionment. Idaho Code 33-1002. Boise, ID: Idaho State Legislature. Link