Brad Little on Education



I will continue to expand school choice in Idaho

We are a leader in education freedom. Idaho is a top ten state for charter schools, and I'm bringing a bill this session to cut more red tape to support charter schools while providing taxpayers the transparency they deserve. Idaho was the first state to ban critical race theory in our schools. We're taking a stand that we should NOT divide our children. We introduced a new history curriculum for Idaho schools, one that teaches students to appreciate and respect our country.

And we are a leader in education freedom. I will continue to support a fair, responsible, transparent, and accountable approach to expanding school choice in Idaho--one that does not draw resources away from our public schools.

My IDAHO WORKS plan proposes the largest investment EVER in school facility construction and our maintenance match--$2 billion. We get a two-fer! This $2 billion investment in school facilities is $2 billion in long term property tax relief.

Source: 2024 State of the State Address to the Idaho legislature , Jan 8, 2024

Support public schools AND educational freedom

We also put the single largest ongoing investment ever into Idaho education - $330 million for public schools and $80 million for in-demand career training. The people's vote affirming tax relief and our education investments passed in every single county, every single city, and every single legislative district. The overwhelming support of our plan means, unmistakably, Idahoans expect us to support public schools.

We are third in the nation for education freedom--measures that include spending, school choice, transparency, and regulations. Whether it is traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, or homeschooling, hundreds of schooling options are available to Idaho families.

Source: 2023 State of the State Address to the Idaho legislature , Jan 9, 2023

$8500 scholarship for in-state post-high school education

I am very proud to announce my budget provides access to a scholarship of $8,500 starting next year to graduating high school students in Idaho to attend an Idaho university, community college, career technical or workforce training program of their choice. Never have we provided a catalyst of this magnitude for students to "go on," in whatever way suits them. There are many pathways to success in today's economy and all pathways deserve our support.
Source: 2023 State of the State Address to the Idaho legislature , Jan 9, 2023

Add $47 million in ongoing funding to literacy programs

It all starts with literacy. Today, I propose adding $47 million in ongoing funding to literacy programs--to build on the reading success that parents instill at home. Local school districts across Idaho, with input from families, will decide how best to deploy the resources. Literacy has been my top priority because it just makes sense. Our investments in education later on will have more impact if we can work with families to get more students to read proficiently early on.
Source: 2022 State of the State Address to the Idaho legislature , Jan 10, 2022

Empowering Parents grants let families control education

Last year, we served 18,000 Idaho families and 46,000 students with grants to help cover educational needs outside the classroom. And now, to build on our success, I am proposing $50 million for the new Empowering Parents grants. The grants will cover things such as computers, tutoring, internet connectivity and other needs so students have the best chance for success. The Empowering Parents grants put families in control of their child's education, as it should be.
Source: 2022 State of the State Address to the Idaho legislature , Jan 10, 2022

Double scholarships for members of Idaho National Guard

I want to invest in the soldiers and airmen of the Idaho National Guard. My plan doubles our investment in scholarships for Guardsmen, which boosts our efforts to get more Idahoans to sign up for the Guard. Military service has always been one of the most honorable ways for a person to serve their community, state, and country. We are so grateful to our Guardsmen and all military service members and veterans for all they have done and continue to do to promote freedom and peace in our country.
Source: 2022 State of the State Address to the Idaho legislature , Jan 10, 2022

Make sure all students can read by end of third grade

With all the disruptions in education delivery over the past ten months, many of Idaho's students are experiencing a learning loss. We must close the achievement gap. To help, my "Building Idaho's Future" plan recommends investments in literacy--my highest priority in education.

We must ensure this school year is an anomaly--not a permanent system-wide flaw for Idaho's students in the next decade or more. We must make sure all young students are on track to read by the end of the third grade.

Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Idaho legislature , Jan 11, 2021

Doubled funding for literacy; don't rely on property tax

As state elected leaders, our constitutional obligation to K-12 public education is clear. Article 9 Section 1 states it is our duty "to establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools." I want to thank the Legislature for joining me last year in passing significant investments in public education. We raised starting teacher pay. We increased funds available for Opportunity Scholarships. We doubled funding for one of my highest priority areas--literacy.

We cannot simply rely on the good hearts of teachers any longer to retain an effective teaching workforce in Idaho. We must pay them competitively. Your property taxes shoulder a growing share of teacher salaries and operating expenses in our school districts. It's out of balance and not sustainable. I propose we put an additional $30 million in ongoing General Fund as a down payment to continue increasing teacher pay over the next several years. Performance criteria will ensure accountability.

Source: 2020 Idaho State of the State address , Jan 6, 2020

Direct state colleges & universities to work together

I have directed our universities, community colleges, and the State Board of Education to adopt a fresh approach to meeting the needs of Idaho students and businesses by working together. I am recommending the development of cybersecurity programs that will be offered jointly by Boise State University, Idaho State University, and University of Idaho. This increased level of collaboration will offer Idahoans a path to earn a degree in a high-demand profession by partnering with Idaho employers.
Source: 2020 Idaho State of the State address , Jan 6, 2020

Invest in public school teacher salary increases

Education policy requires long-term planning and commitment. These past four years, Idaho has a successful record of responsible investment in education. We have increased the budget for our schools by 32%. This past year, Idaho teachers received one of the nation's largest year-to-year pay increases.

As Governor, I will continue our momentum and be an unrelenting advocate for educational excellence in our state. To amplify the voices of those on the front lines of education, I will create a Children's Cabinet to advise me throughout my term on a variety of education issues. My Children's Cabinet will consist of traditional education stakeholders, parents, and groups across our state dedicated to advocating for children.

Our Task Force on Public Education and its five-year plan has been the envy of other states. It has been the force behind an unprecedented, sustained effort to improve Idaho education.

My budget recommends the next phase of increased teacher salaries.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to Idaho legislature , Jan 7, 2019

Local and parental control of schools

I oppose the federalization of our education system. I support local and parental control of our public schools. Parents and teachers play an integral role in ensuring our children are getting the most out of the classroom.
Source: 2018 Idaho Gubernatorial website BradLittleForIdaho.com , Sep 1, 2017

Other governors on Education: Brad Little on other issues:
Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
KY: Incumbent Andy Beshear(D)
vs.State A.G. Daniel Cameron(R)

vs.Ambassador Kelly Craft(R)
vs.State Auditor Mike Harmon(R)
LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
vs.Jeff Landry(R)
vs.Shawn Wilson(D)
vs.John Schroder(R)
vs.Sharon Hewitt(R)
MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
vs.Bill Waller(R,withdrew)
vs.Brandon Presley(D)

Gubernatorial Debates 2024:
DE: Gov. John Carney (D, term-limited);
Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long (D)
vs. Matt Meyer (D)
IN: Gov. Eric Holcomb (R, term-limited);
Sen. Mike Braun (R)
vs. Suzanne Crouch (R)
vs. Jennifer McCormick (D)
MO: Gov. Mike Parson (R, term-limited):
Jay Ashcroft (R)
vs. Bill Eigel (R)
vs. Mike Kehoe (R)
vs. Crystal Quade (D)
MT: Gov. Greg Gianforte (R)
vs. Tanner Smith (R)
vs. Ryan Busse (D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2024 (continued):
NC: Gov. Roy Cooper (D, term-limited);
Dale Folwell (R)
vs. Michael Morgan (D)
vs. Mark Robinson (R)
vs. Josh Stein (D)
vs. Andy Wells (R)
ND: Gov. Doug Burgum (R)
vs. State Rep. Rick Becker (R)
NH: Gov. Chris Sununu (R, retiring)
vs. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R)
vs. Joyce Craig (D)
vs. Chuck Morse (R)
vs. Cinde Warmington (D)
UT: Gov. Spencer Cox (R)
vs. State Rep. Phil Lyman (R)
VT: Gov. Phil Scott (R) unopposed
WA: Gov. Jay Inslee (D, retiring);
Hilary Franz (D, withdrew)
vs. State Sen. Mark Mullet (D)
vs. County Chair Semi Bird (R)
vs. WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D)
WV: Gov. Jim Justice (R, term-limited);
vs. WV State Auditor JB McCuskey (R, withdrew)
vs. WV Secretary of State Mac Warner (R)
vs. State Del. Moore Capito (R)
vs. WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R)
vs. Huntington Mayor Steve Williams (D)
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