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.