Teaching in Idaho
As the nation’s fourth-fastest-growing state, Idaho is going to be in need of more teachers to keep up with its expanding school population. And since the state also has one of the nation’s best high school graduation rates (at 81 percent), it’s going to need teachers across all grade levels. Teaching in Idaho has other advantages as well. Idaho is more particular about its education decisions, knowing that just throwing more money at schools will not make them better. Idaho aims to make sure its education budget is applied to the students, teachers, and resources that will promote education, instead of toward extra administrative costs and programs.In order to adapt to today’s education needs, Students Come First promotes three important goals. First, it’s raising standards to fit college and career needs, and even invites colleges and universities to operate charter schools to provide advanced curriculum. Second, Idaho seeks to advance classroom technology—and is aiming to provide every high school student with a laptop computer. Finally, in order to promote college education, the state pays for dual-credit courses for students who meet graduation requirements early. The Students Come First initiative also rewards excellent teachers and school principals. In order to attract better teachers, the state has raised the minimum salary, and added salary bonuses for teachers of hard-to-fill subjects such as physics and calculus. Meanwhile, its pay-for-performance plan further increases salaries for those teachers and schools who demonstrate success with their students (as measured by state test scores). Finally, Students Come First takes several steps to increase school accountability and local involvement in schools. To begin with, state money follows the students; if a student leaves one school to attend another, the money goes with the student instead of staying with the original district. Next, parents are given access to their school district’s financial information, so they can provide better input. Finally, collective bargaining processes have been streamlined, so that local leaders have more flexibility in managing their schools year to year. For example, teachers’ unions still negotiate over salaries, but do not negotiate over things like bell schedules, or the start of the school day. Teachers’ unions had opposed some parts of Students Come First (particularly the parts that reduced their power), and even after it was passed in April 2011 challenged parts of it in court. However, September of the same year the Idaho courts upheld the legislation. More information on Students Come First can be found at the Idaho State Department of Education website.Several organizations in Idaho are devoted to teacher development, and to providing educational resources to Idaho teachers. These organizations often publish and discuss research on teaching programs and techniques, and often offer classroom activities or curriculum supplements to help improve teacher (and student) performance.
- What’s the education climate in Idaho?
- How’s the job outlook for Idaho teachers?
- What benefits do Idaho teachers have?
- What are Idaho’s credentialing requirements?
- What schools in Idaho offer masters degree programs?
What’s the education climate in Idaho?Idaho recently began implementing a major education initiative called Students Come First. The program aims to make sure that public schools are adapted to the 21st century, provide incentives for developing school leaders and master teachers, and increase both school accountability and parent involvement.
Starting Salaries for Idaho Teachers
- Elementary School Teacher—$40,563
- Secondary School Teacher—$41,314
- By comparison: Average salary in Idaho for all jobs—$34,946