The teaching profession in Idaho has always been one of the most underpaid professions in the state. Before the Covid recession, Idaho was still one of the lowest wage states in the union. In the past, we've seen an exodus of teachers who gain experience in our state and then leave for higher-paying states within the Northwest.
Now a new study says that over fifty percent of Idaho educators want to retire early. The Idaho Education Association tells KTVB that these are alarming numbers. Governor Little pledged to strengthen Idaho's education system by focusing on money and state resources. Little told anyone who would listen that he wanted to be known as the education governor.
Idaho's Best Public High Schools
The Idaho Legislature has approved a bill that would allow teachers to join the state's health insurance system, reports US News. The bill now moves to the governor's office for his signature. The cost of the bill is 75 million dollars. Over half the state's general fund to education funding. Still, public reports indicate that Idaho's public education is in the middle of the pack.
Education has been the topic within talk radio and the legislature for several years. Idaho was the first state to ban Critical Race Theory from being taught in schools. The lieutenant governor formed a task force to investigate claims throughout the state.
Teachers have continued to work for far lower wages than neighboring states. There is currently no proposed legislation that would raise the career ladder scale. Indeed.com says the average salary per hour of a starting teacher in Idaho is $13.69, ten percent below the national average.
Two issues do remain for the legislature this session that can significantly impact Idaho's future. Legislators are considering funding all-day kindergarten. Governor Little has proposed some raises and bonuses for teachers. Are those moves enough to stop Idaho teachers from leaving? We'll continue to monitor this story and update you on any developments.