My name is Murphy Olmstead and I am the newest addition to Wittmeyer & Associates. I am the step-son to Jane and joined the team as an Associate to gain knowledge in public policy and issues involving charter schools. I am a proud University of Idaho alumni and have spent my last 3 years as a Recruiter for a financial services firm. I am excited to meet all of you and eager to be working with everyone involved in the coalition.
On another note, we are still actively looking for people who would like to join the coalition! Whether they’re a student, parent, teacher or a supporter of educational innovation through Public Charter Schools, there is a place for you within the Coalition of Idaho Charter Schools. We are looking for those right people who want to get on to our board of directors with the coalition as well. Whether it's writing a letter or attending a rally, find out how you can get involved and what you can do to help the cause!
The best way to get involved with the coalition starts with attending our 2018 Parent Advocacy Boot Camp! This is a trip to Washington D.C with parents that supports and defends parents’ rights to access the best public school options for their children. The Boot Camp will teach on ways to advocate and create different public school options, including charter schools, online schools, magnet schools, open enrollment policies and other innovative education programs. If you are interested, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail me! We would love to have you come.
Lastly, we are having a Board meeting for the Coalition that is set for Thursday, August 24th. We would love to have as many people as we can come and attend the meeting. It will be a good way for everyone to get to know more about the group and ways we can stay in touch.
I hope everyone is having a great summer and I look forward to getting to meet you all!
by Keith Cousins, Coeur d’Alene Press
COEUR d’ALENE — Another year, another snub for Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy.
One of the nation’s top-performing high schools, Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy was once again not recognized in the U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of the top high schools in Idaho. The school had previously appeared on the list as one of the top 50 in the country, but has not appeared in the rankings in recent years. That prompted school officials and leaders with the state’s charter school network to hire a lawyer for further investigation.
“It’s very frustrating still. It gets more and more frustrating each year it happens,” said principal Dan Nicklay, whose students consistently lead the state in test scores and routinely go on to some of the best universities and colleges in the country. “The data is sitting there, right for the taking, and they just can’t get it from point A to point B.”
U.S. News and World Report began compiling and publishing high school rankings in 2007 with the goal of providing “a clear, unbiased picture of how well public schools serve all of their students in preparing them to demonstrate proficiency in basic skills as well as readiness for college-level work.” According to its website, the media organization works with a nonprofit social science research firm, RTI International, to create a methodology of ranking based on four factors: basic data from the U.S. Department of Education, Advanced Placement test data, International Baccalaureate test data, and each high school’s statewide test results and graduation rates.
SCHOOLS RECEIVE $30.3 MILLION IN LOTTERY PROCEEDS
Idaho schools received a $30.3 million check from the Idaho Lottery Thursday.
The dividends — $30,312,500, to be exact — represent the schools’ share from 2016-17 ticket sales of about $240 million.
The proceeds still represent but a sliver of Idaho’s school funding. The K-12 system will receive close to $1.7 billion in sales and income tax revenues in 2017-18 — and that doesn’t count the hundreds of millions of dollars schools collect in local property taxes.
But state officials and lottery administrators celebrated the dividends during a ceremony in Gov. Butch Otter’s office Thursday afternoon. Lottery director Jeff Anderson said the state is nearing a milestone; since its inception in 1989, the lottery has awarded nearly $800 million in dividends for schools and state buildings.
“That’s quite a feat,” said Lt. Gov. Brad Little, who stood in for Otter Thursday.
Lt. Gov. Brad Little, state superintendent Sherri Ybarra and state lottery director Jeff Anderson pose with an oversized check representing the K-12 cut from 2016-17 lottery ticket sales.
The lottery money does not go into salaries and benefits, but instead goes to one-time capital projects. About $18 million goes into a fund school districts can tap into for repairs and improvements. The remaining $12 million goes into the state’s Bond Levy Equalization Fund, which is designed to mitigate some of the cost of building bond issues in rural and poorer school districts.
Call Murphy Olmstead (208) 871-3885