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2022 BILLS

Kids Matter Index Rating on H788
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

This is the FY 2023 original appropriation bill for the Public Schools Educational Support Program's Division of Children's Programs.

This bill includes $46 million for early literacy programs.
This bill removes any ambiguity and affirms that school districts have the resources to establish optional full day kindergarten for any student at the district’s discretion. This bill updates the literacy funding formula to ensure that schools have baseline stability in funding while also incentivizing and rewarding those programs that achieve the greatest success.
Kindergarten programs are voluntary for both the parent and the school.
It is estimated that approximately 80% of Idaho public school student’s parents would chose to participate in a full-time kindergarten program.

Kids Matter Index Rating on H790
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

This legislation updates the Code regarding literacy intervention programs and levy disclosures.

This bill affirms that school districts have the resources to establish literacy improvement programs for K-3rd grade students, at the district’s discretion. This bill updates the literacy funding formula to ensure that schools have baseline
stability in funding while also incentivizing and rewarding those programs that achieve the greatest success. Additionally, this bill requires school districts to disclose the purposes and amounts of levy funds to be used within the school district. Such disclosure and the purpose of must be placed on the ballot above the question for supplemental levies. There is currently $26.1 million in the base budget for literacy. The Governor’s budget recommendation proposes adding another $46.6 million in ongoing literacy funding. This legislation would modify how these existing and proposed funds are distributed to school districts.

Kids Matter Index Rating on H777
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

This is the FY 2023 original appropriation bill for the Department of Health and Welfare's division of Medicaid.

Medicaid budget
The budget bill includes the governor’s recommendations to fully fund the Medicaid program, including the use of ARPA relief.

Kids Matter Index Rating on H764
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

This is the FY 2023 original appropriation bill for the Department of Health and Welfare's division of Welfare. It appropriates a total of $290,611,800 and caps the number of authorized full-time equivalent positions at 613.50.

This includes $100 million in childcare relief.
In response to the detrimental effect the pandemic has had on the childcare industry, the state created the Idaho Child Care Grant program utilizing federal relief dollars to stabilize the childcare industry through monthly grants in 2021. These relief grants have been crucial in offsetting some of the most significant factors plaguing child care business owners, including staff retention and paying their largest monthly bills, like rent for their facility. House Bill 764, the Division of Welfare’s budget, continues the stabilization grant program through Fiscal Year 2023. The budget includes $100 million in federal relief to keep these grants up and running as the childcare industry struggles to get back on its feet.

Kids Matter Index Rating on H773
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

This is the FY 2023 original appropriation bill for the Department of Health and Welfare for the Divisions of Child Welfare, Services for the Developmentally Disabled, and Service Integration.

This budget bill passed JFAC unanimously and includes the governor’s original recommendation for foster care personnel support and foster parent rate increases, including 24 new positions, up to a 12% raise for child welfare personnel, and foster parent rate increases between 30-60%.

Kids Matter Index Rating on H666
NO, this bill is NOT good for Idaho Children

This bill removes the exemptions afforded to schools, public libraries, universities and museums of the prohibition of harmful materials to minors.

This will have a chilling effect on teachers, librarians, etc. because what is “obscene” or harmful is not clearly defined and can be subject to interpretation.
The enforcement mechanism is not defined.
This opens the opportunity to criminalize library, museum staff.
This may cross the line of censorship and constitutionally protected speech.
Library books on the shelves already go through a detailed selection process. Community library boards are made up of members who review and give input on what is added to collections.

 

Kids Matter Index Rating on H675 (Reference >)
NO, this bill is NOT good for Idaho Children

House Bill 675 would make it a felony for a medical provider to provide any gender-affirming care to a person under 18 years of age, including counseling and medical therapy.

Gender identity refers to a person’s sense of gender, which can be the same or different from person’s gender assigned at birth. Supportive evidence-based interventions—including but not limited to mental health counseling, social transition support, and hormone therapies—greatly improve mental health outcomes for transgender youth.
Foregoing gender-affirming care can have tragic consequences. Transgender youth experience disproportionate levels of violence and bullying. Transgender youth are also more likely to feel less safe at school than cisgender youth, that is
youth whose gender identity is consistent with their assigned sex at birth. 

Access to gender-affirming care has a positive relationship with the mental health of transgender youth and lowers their risk of depression and suicide. Additionally, the distress that youth who grow up to be cisgender is significantly less than that which is experienced when forced to live in an identity that does not correspond to one’s self-understanding, as would be the case for transgender
youth

Kids Matter Index Rating on H717
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

Allows children turning 5 between September 1st and December 31st to enroll in kindergarten if they are determined to be school ready.

This legislation would allow children turning age five with birthdates between September 1st and
December 31st to enroll in public kindergarten if the parent and the local school district have
determined the child is ready for school.

Kids Matter Index Rating on H723
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

Provides that enrollment shall replace average daily attendance in funding formulas for fiscal years 2023 and 2024 and to provide for a study committee on the public-school

Average Daily Attendance (ADA) has been used in past years to allocate funds to schools.
Since the pandemic, Full Time Enrollment (FTE) has been used, reflecting the alternative ways that students can participate in school.
Schools are well prepared to make a change to enrollment as they have been providing both counts since the Fiscal School year 2020.
This bill codifies what has been a temporary rule, with a sunset on July 1, 2025.
The legislative council will appoint an interim committee to evaluate the formula.

Kids Matter Index Rating on H716
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

Adopt the draft Idaho Content Standards for English Language, Arts, Mathematics and Science.

These draft standards (dated July 13, 2021) were recommended by the Standards Review committees of 2020 and 2021.
Input to these standards came from various subcommittees of legislators, educators, school administrators, and state department staff.
School districts shall have until June 30, 2024, to adopt curricular materials.
The state requires each content standard to be reviewed on a five-year cycle.

Kids Matter Index Rating on H733
NO, this bill is NOT good for Idaho Children

This bill prohibits non-academic evaluations, questionnaires, surveys, or data collection without having parental guardian permission and approval of school district board of trustees.

H733 adds new sections to Idaho law that would pile regulations on local school districts attempting to fulfill their long-standing legal duty of standing “in loco parentis” for children in their care.  The restrictions in the bill are onerous and harmful. H733 is labeled a “data collection” bill.  A look at the language shows that the bill requires that “no public school shall conduct or permit an evaluation of a student” that “concerns the student's behavior, psychological status, trauma, attitude, or social and emotional status.”  Any action to investigate or address those concerns would require an affirmative action by the school board AND the student’s parent. This language is overly broad and will create doubt and confusion. Imagine bullying on the playground, disruptive acting out behaviors in the classroom, drinking or smoking at school activities, or even stealing another student’s lunch money.  Any involvement of the teacher, counsellor or administrator would require a vote of the school board and a permission slip by the parent. It also would virtually eliminate the acquisition of population data on harmful behaviors like drinking, smoking, sexual activity, drug use or suicidal thoughts in school aged kids. The universally used Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance Survey is an important population based tool, but could not be used in Idaho unless there was an affirmative permission from each parent and a vote of the school board.

The end result of this bill will be less knowledge of drug use, sexual activity and STDs, and other harmful behaviors in our kids.   Idaho policy makers and caring professionals in our schools will be limited in trying to address issues facing Idaho kids and families from bullying to high suicide rates and drug use.
 
This bill offers no benefit, only harm, for Idaho kids.  And while it may give some parents an illusion of control, the result will hurt many more families than it helps.
 


 

Kids Matter Index Rating on HCR 29 (LVW>)
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

Encouraging awareness around the impacts of traumatic childhood experiences and implementing interventions and practices to develop resiliency in children and adults who suffered from traumatic childhood experiences.

Research has found a strong graded relationship between the breadth of exposure to abuse or household dysfunction and multiple risk factors for several leading causes of death in adulthood, including ischemic heart disease, cancer, and chronic lung disease.  It is possible and indeed cost-effective to widely implement interventions and practices that promote resilience and mitigate the effects of trauma and therefore mitigate the burden of chronic adult diseases

 

Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study.  V Felitti, MD, R Anda, MD, D Nordenberg, MD, V Edwards, BA, M Koss PhD, J Marks, MD, MPH, et al.  American Journal of Preventative Medicine.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0749-3797(98)00017-8

Kids Matter Index Rating on H500
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

This legislation eliminates fees for children involved in the juvenile justice system and their parents and guardians.

This legislation eliminates fees for children involved in the juvenile justice system and their parents and guardians. Idaho law currently allows children to be assessed fees exceeding thousands of dollars per case. The juvenile justice system is meant to be restorative and rehabilitative. Because of fees, probation officers and juvenile justice system officials must dedicate resources to collection efforts rather than supervising at-risk youth. This legislation reduces the burden of government on Idaho families. The bill does not change any law related to restitution.

See more data at:

Removing Barriers to Youth and Family Success: The Role of State Juvenile Cost of Care Fees - Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy (idahofiscal.org)

Kids Matter Index Rating on S1270 (Information >)
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

Down Syndrome Diagnosis Information Act

SENATE BILL 1270 – Idaho State Legislature

This Bill will:

  1. Require hospitals, physicians, and other health professionals to provide written information about Down syndrome, resources, and support groups to parents who receive a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis of Down syndrome for their baby. (This act is for ALL Down syndrome diagnoses given, pre and post-natal.)

  2. Ensure that parents receiving a Down syndrome diagnosis for their baby are provided timely, accurate, and complete information.

  3. Change many Idahoans' experiences of fear and isolation to support and hope, when hearing their baby has Down syndrome.

 

See additional information from DSDIA Information Sheet and DSDIA document comparing H302 with S1270.

Kids Matter Index Rating on S1238
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

Self-directed Learners

This bill allows for flexibility in attendance for students who show they have mastered class content, and for school districts to determine specifics of this program and still receive the funding for student attendance.

This is already happening in some school districts.  This bill supports innovation and flexibility for self-directed students and has no fiscal impact, although there may be more administrative time required for educators to monitor student learning outside the classroom.

Kids Matter Index Rating on S1255
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

Empowering Parents Grant Program

Establish the Empowering Parents Grant Program, which provides funds to eligible students for certain education expenses.

This program provides $1000 per child and up to $3000 per family, to parents to help meet educational needs and address learning loss.  Important to note:

  1. $50M of funds from ARPA are to be used.

  2. Available to public and non-public students.

  3. Available to families making below $60K, then below $75K, then above until funds are exhausted.

  4. Parents can spend funds on approved expenses via a digital platform.

  5. A Parental Advisory Panel is to be established to help with the implementation and administration of the program.

This supports low-income families to help with expenses from computer hardware/software, educational supplies, and medical needs.  It specifically addresses learning loss and educational needs, mostly due to the pandemic.  This will support families to address learning losses suffered in the past 2 years.

Kids Matter Index Rating on S1280
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

Early screening of Dyslexia

Early screening and identification of students with reading difficulties is essential in developing literacy intervention plans to help make sure every student is reading at grade level by the time they leave third grade.

SENATE BILL 1280 – Idaho State Legislature

 

The importance of students reading, and literacy proficiency has long been recognized by the Idaho legislature as a critical piece of Idaho’s education system. In more recent years the added importance of identifying those students with characteristics of dyslexia and expanding dyslexia awareness has been identified as a pivotal piece in literacy intervention for student with characteristics of dyslexia. The purpose of the proposed legislation is to define dyslexia as used in Chapter 18, Title 33, and recognize the unique influence and challenges students with characteristics of dyslexia face in developing their reading and literacy skills. The proposed legislation, in alignment with existing provisions identified in the Idaho Literacy Achievement and Accountability Act (Chapter 18, Title 33), would require students in kindergarten through grade 5, when they first enroll in a school district or charter school, to be assessed for characteristics of dyslexia and those students that are identified may be administered a second, tier 2 screener, to help identify specific interventions for meeting the student’s needs. The current statewide reading assessments have the capability of serving as the initial, tier 1 screener. A

See news article:

Bill designed to help dyslexic children introduced to Idaho House (msn.com)

Kids Matter Index Rating on H655
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

Adds funding for FTE and teacher training, focuses efforts on K-3rd.

Provides for dyslexia screening and intervention programs in grades K – 3rd.  It requires the State Department of Education to provide training for educators and to designate a dyslexia specialist (FTE) to support reading improvement plans for students with dyslexia and appropriate instruction and intervention for these students.

The cost, including benefits, for one FTE to act as a statewide dyslexia coordinator is $97,000. The additional $2 million in funding would provide for assistive technology resources for students with dyslexia and would provide training opportunities for teachers in identifying characteristics of dyslexia and providing instruction tailored to dyslexic students. The requirements contained in this legislation would be subject to appropriation, but the State Department of Education would need additional funding to expand training for educators

Kids Matter Index Rating on H669
NO, this bill is NOT good for Idaho Children

The act would allow education funding dollars to follow students, away from the public education system.  Families would use public funds for private tutoring; curriculum, tuition, and fees at private schools; among other “approved” expenses. There is no accountability for spending these public funds.  

  1. Currently, Idaho ranks 50th in public school funding per student.

  2. There is no evidence that public funds spent on private educational needs lead to increased student achievement.

  3. Requiring taxpayers to fund two systems, one public and one private, is not efficient.

  4. Taxpayer funding of education should be fully accountable and equitable.

  5. Unlike public schools, private and religious schools can — and do — discriminate in admissions on the basis of gender, religion, sexual orientation, ability, behavioral history, prior academic achievement, standardized test scores, interviews with applicants and parents, and income.

  6. Public schools are mandated to accept all students, including those with learning disabilities, behavioral and mental health issues, etc. With real dollars taken out of the state’s education budgets, public schools must educate students of all abilities with less. Private schools can selectively choose students of high ability, and low behavioral issues, thus leaving the burden on the lower funded public school system.

  • Parents should have quality educational options for their children and in Idaho, and they already do.

    • Public and charter schools provide excellent choices of programs, including Dual Language, Science/Math, Montessori, Arts, International, and other specialties, and secondary programs in choir, orchestra, athletics, instrumental specialties, painting, drawing and advanced placement, that provide exceptional opportunities for Idaho kids.

  • Tax dollars are intended for the better education of all children.

  • Allowing private education options means that any "private" organization can offer a school program and receive money from the state. Public schools are accountable to the public for: budgets, testing, school operations, federal requirements, student and parent rights, special education, teacher/staff contracts and evaluations, equal opportunity and other matters.

  • Private schools typically have little of the accountability required of public schools unless legislation includes these requirements. The current Hope and Opportunity Scholarship Act has no accountability provisions.

 

Impact on Idaho Children: Transferring public education funding from the public school system to private sources would dramatically hurt children in our state. Our schools are currently underfunded with many essential needs, such as full-day kindergarten, not being met. Given the historic underfunding, the population growth, the needs of school-age children across the state, technology needs, and the urban/rural demographics, taking money out of an already underfunded system would negatively impact all children in Idaho.

 

Kids Matter Index Rating on SCR115
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

Idaho’s civics standards are currently embedded in the state’s social studies standards. Separating and enhancing the standards, will highlight the importance of civics education.

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 115 – Idaho State Legislature
Civic engagement is essential to our nation’s form of government. Civic education gives young people the knowledge and background to be engaged citizens who are more likely to vote and participate in civic activities. In recent years, many states including Utah, Georgia and Florida have strengthened their states’ civics standards and requirements.
This resolution has no fiscal impact to the General Fund. The State Department of Education will be facilitating a review of Social Studies standards this year according to the traditional cycle for review of content standards. The creation of stand-alone civics standards will be conducted as part of this process

 

Kids Matter Index Rating on S1290
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

The purpose of this legislation would be to establish a rural educator incentive program for educators who work
in high-need or rural school districts or charter schools.

SENATE BILL 1290 – Idaho State Legislature

  • Unlike other programs that provide the same amount of funding or reimbursement over a fixed number of years, this program would provide a maximum amount of eligible funding that gradually increases for each year the educator stays in the high need school district or charter school up to the maximum number of years of eligibility. 

  • The funds could be used for education loan repayments, additional degrees, advanced degrees, or other educational costs.

  • The fiscal impact would be based on the annual appropriation for the program.

  • As an example, if an eligible teacher received $1,500 for the first year, $2,500 for the second year, $3,500 for the third year and $4,500 for the fourth year, each educator that completed the program could receive up to $12,000 over four years toward loan repayments or eligible educational expenses.

  • As an example, for 500 teachers, the first-year funding would be $750,000, 2nd year with 250 more teachers, funding would be $1,250,000, 3rd year with 250 more teachers, funding would be $1,750,000, etc.

 

Kids Matter Index Rating on S1315
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

The proposed legislation would adjust the calculations for support units so that students in kindergarten could be funded for a full day if they attended a full day and a half day if they only attended a half day, similar to how other elementary grade students are funded.

SENATE BILL 1315 – Idaho State Legislature

  • Pursuant to Section 33-208, Idaho Code, Kindergarten programs are voluntary for both the parent and the school. 

  • It is estimated that approximately 80% of Idaho public school students’ parents would chose to participate in a full-time kindergarten program.   

  • School districts and charter schools may take a few years to adjust facilities usage to accommodate the increase in full-time kindergarten students.  

  • Looking at various estimates, this bill calculates an additional $43M in the first year, and then would incorporate funding requirements in the state funding formula in out years.

Kids Matter Index Rating on S1373
YES, this bill is good for Idaho Children

This legislation updates the Code regarding literacy intervention programs.

SENATE BILL 1373 – Idaho State Legislature

  • This bill removes any ambiguity and affirms that school districts have the resources to establish optional full day kindergarten for any student at the district’s discretion. 

  • This bill updates the literacy funding formula to ensure that schools have baseline stability in funding while also incentivizing and rewarding those programs that achieve the greatest success.

  • Kindergarten programs are voluntary for both the parent and the school. 

  • It is estimated that approximately 80% of Idaho public school student’s parents would chose to participate in a full-time kindergarten program.   

  • There is currently $26.1 million in the base budget for literacy.  The Governor’s budget recommendation proposes adding another $46.6 million in ongoing literacy funding. This legislation would modify how these existing and proposed funds are distributed to school districts.