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Idaho again ranks last in terms of student spending

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Idaho again ranks last in terms of student spending

Idaho again ranked last in comparison to the cost per student of the National Teachers Union.

The National Association of Educationannual Rating and ratings report put Idaho in 51st place in the 2020-2021 category.

The report highlights the continuing trend in Idaho. Several studies for years have put staff at the bottom or almost at the bottom of cost estimates per student, which has caused concern among K-12 leaders.

Idaho Education Association spokesman Mike Journey acknowledged the state’s grim manifestation in the report, but pointed to the “very important” 2022 legislative session that brought 11% increase in funding for K-12 education.

The figures for 2020-21 do not reflect this latest increase, but “obviously we still have a long way to go,” Journey told EdNews.

However, the rating per Idaho student in 2020-21 has not shifted, despite years of increased spending on the K-12, including at least $ 100 million a year from 2015 to 2019. The legislature of 2020 has followed this increase an additional $ 78.7 million.

Some raw figures from the latest NEA report:

  • Idaho spent $ 8,376 per student in 2020-21, which is $ 543 more than previous year but not enough to shift it from below. Idaho also ranked last on the list 2018-19.
  • The national average per student in 2020-21 is $ 14,360, which is 42% more than the Idaho average.
  • Neighboring Utah remains in 50th place in the country with $ 9,968 per student – $ 592 more than Idaho. By comparison, $ 18,385 per student in Wyoming led the state to № 0.11 on the list.

The pandemic and the change of teachers have slowed the progress that the state has made in another key area in the report. Teachers’ salaries in Idaho moved up in the last NEA rankingsbut in 2020-2021 it slipped back into the top ten after a temporary freeze on teachers ’salaries at the start of the pandemic. (Here’s a look on the trend of teachers’ salaries by districts and statutes.)

The average teacher’s salary in Idaho in 2020-21 is $ 51,817, compared to $ 52,875 a year before the freeze. The figure 2020-21 puts the state in 45th place nationwide and well below the national average in 2020-21, which is $ 65,293.

Increasing the legislature’s funding by 11% in 2020 to 12 includes pouring $ 104 million into the staffing schedule of teachers ’career ladders. This includes $ 36.4 million in federal money, a one-time infusion of money aimed at raising teachers. But again, these increases do not take into account the figures of 2020-21.

Idaho ranks much better when it comes to the salaries of beginning teachers, averaging $ 39,842, which is only $ 1,928 less than the national average of $ 41,770.

Click here view report; scroll down for a map with numbers from each state.

About Devin Bodkin

EdNews Assistant Editor and Reporter Devin Bodkin is a former high school English teacher who specializes in storytelling about charter schools and teaching students living in poverty. He lives and works in Eastern Idaho. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. You can contact him by email at [email protected].

Read more Devin Bodkin stories »

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