Bill to create scholarships for early graduates passes House committee

The House Education Committee approved legislation Monday that would give students scholarships to in-state public institutions for graduating early.

House Bill 493, co-sponsored by Rep. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett, and Rep. Branden Durst, D-Boise, will now head to the full House.

The bill creates the Master Advancement Pilot Project to incentive early graduation.

“When you do a risk-reward analysis of this proposal, the potential for improvement is quite high and the likelihood of cost of loss or risk of failure it quite low,” Thayn said.

Thayn said the state could save as much as $100 million per year if every student in the state graduated early.

The bill would allow students from the first grade to the 11th grade to take tests designed to show their proficiency and skip grades.

“We’re trying to find the best version of the students we’re trying to educate in the state of Idaho,” Durst said.

Rep. Marc Gibbs, R-Grace, voted against the bill in committee. Gibbs said he thought the bill needed further study and was concerned about the cost of the bill.

Luci Willits, chief of staff for Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, said the state is moving in this direction already. But she expressed concern about the cost of doing end-of-course test for each grade and subject matter as required in the bill. Willits said the cost of creating those tests could be in the millions.

I'm afraid anything with Thayn and Durst would lead me to want

more study on the subject. Just the fact that Thayn considers that every student in the state may do this shows some unrealistice expectation. Here's my question, do we know that a significant number of students would take advantage of this program? My concern would be that we spend a lot of time and resources to put the tests in place and then very few actually finish early. Have they done any surveying to see how many students are actually on track to finish early and how many of them would want to finish early? What happens with student athletes?

This is ridiculous -- pay a

This is ridiculous -- pay a student to graduate early - why. They are already able to graduate early if they complete the graduation requirements. The implementation of testing to challenge core classes defeats the purpose of a well rounded high school education. This is an important phase of human growth and development which should not be shortened. If they want to graduate early, let them, but certainly don't pay them to do so.

Thayne's assertation that every high school student could possibly graduate early is so far fetched. He's grasping at straws and without merit.

Actually, it is a good idea if fully implemented

I think this is a great idea, but it needs more than testing to back it up. Every basic class should be tracked this way, so that kids who advance faster in reading or writing can go faster, and ones who go slower in math can stay with it until they are ready to advance. In other words, junk the whole concept of grades!

A lot of boys, in particular, mature slowly in the early education years. A little more time to get a few basics in, and they will avoid a lifetime of fear of a particular subject area. On the other hand, once the basics of a subject are mastered, a lot of kids get lost to boredom.

Rethinking grades will not only save money, it will enable quality education.

As to student athletes, the answer is to do the same with them! The more physically advanced kids should move up through athletics faster.

You raise some good points.

You raise some good points. My problem is with the idea of paying. Improving the quality of education is a plus as we continue to fund and fund and fund education. Your statement has merit not only for in the classroom but for athletics as well.

Not a good idea and here is why...

They give these kids so much to do anymore I suspect they'll all get sick and die early anyway.

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Like a midair collision with a tugboat

Why Scholarships?

It would seem that adding scholarships in a state that is at the bottom of state rankings in terms of college attendance would be a good policy. But the reality is that there is no more room for growth at Idaho's colleges and universities because of the budget cuts. And it is very likely that the recipients of these new scholarships would have gone onto college anyway.

Are there GPA requirements for the scholarships?

Or is it simply, the faster you can race through the system, the better. If you get a C-average, do you still get a scholarship? What is the definition of proficient? Just enough to pass?

Did they duct tape the Governor?

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Like a midair collision with a tugboat

Bill Meets Republican Borgs, 'Resistance is Futile!"

Republican agenda: Backed by 'Votes for PAC Funding', or,'trading votes for money' as I like to call it. Idaho's school board were caught fixing the books after an audit by the Feds. The corrected statistics show Idaho's schools are worse than drop out factories, they're almost useless. The majority of Idaho's schools are at the 60% drop out level. The Idaho Legislature continually stealing from the school's general fund over the last 3 years. Over a cool billion actually. Because Idaho's children tested so poorly, they all but stopped testing. Aside from all of that, this bill doubtful, either the Legislature, or the Governor will probably kill it. They want Public Education dead, this bill could actually help and I doubt they'll allow that. So it's issue token legislation and it's political business as usual. Asian folk graduate at a rate higher than 90% going into college. Europe not far behind them. In England, you can't pass unless you score 90% or higher. Who does the Idaho Legislature think is coming for Idaho and the remaining available American assets. Meanwhile, Idaho's kids *continue* to suffer... Greedy cowards...