9/11 – Never Forget

Boy Scouts place flags in front of Malad homes in memory of 9/11

Boy Scouts place flags in front of Malad homes in memory of 9/11

The motto, “Never Forget” has been taken up as a rallying cry by many Americans to remind people of one of the most terrible days in U.S. history. Today is the 13th anniversary of the infamous terrorist attacks launched by al-Qaeda upon the United States on September 11, 2001. The Islamic terrorist group launched four coordinated attacks, hijacking aircraft which crashed into the World Trade Center twin towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. One airplane crashed over Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after its passengers tried to overcome the hijackers.

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State Board repeals online graduation reqiurement

(Boise). The State Board of Education today repealed the pending rule that required students graduating in 2016 to take two online courses to graduate from high school. With Idaho voters rejecting Proposition 3 in the recent election, the Board decided the online requirement should be repealed and future requirements should be discussed as part of ongoing education reform efforts. “The voters sent the education system a clear message that all stakeholders must be involved in developing and implementing reform,” said State Board President Ken Edmunds. “The Board is committed to ensuring that students have the skills they need to succeed when they graduate from high school. Knowing how to learn effectively in an online environment is a critical skill, and the Board looks forward to the opportunity to revisit this issue with stakeholders.” Superintendent Luna concurred, “There is a need to make sure every student graduates from high school prepared to go on to postsecondary education and the workforce, which includes the skills to learn and work in a digital environment. After the vote on November 6, we will need to come at this with a different process and through a different approach.” The Board also approved repeal of the rule regarding Fractional Average Daily Attendance (ADA), which was rendered null and void with the rejection of Proposition 3. The rule provided that ADA be calculated based on time spent in various programs or online courses and created a basis for fractional ADA calculations among multiple providers. Due to the rejection of Proposition 1, the State Department of Education requested that the Board repeal the pending rule to incorporate parent and principal input as part of teacher evaluations. The Board approved repeal of this pending rule. School personnel evaluation procedures are already established in Administrative Rule and amendments may be brought forward in the future.

Land Board approves land exchange, acquires commercial building in Idaho Falls

(BOISE) – The Idaho State Board of Land Commissioners (Land Board) today unanimously approved a land exchange between the State of Idaho endowment trust and a private land owner in Bonneville County.

The endowment trust will exchange about 14 acres of property in McCall currently being used as the University of Idaho (UI) McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS) for a privately owned commercial building of equal value in Idaho Falls.

The exchange will enable the Land Board and the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) to perform on its constitutional duty to generate maximum long-term financial returns to the trust beneficiaries in two ways.

First, the exchange will instantly more than double cash returns to the beneficiaries of the property.  Secondly, the exchange builds the commercial land asset type within the overall endowment trust land portfolio, bringing diversity to a portfolio that is heavily comprised of two land asset types – rangeland and timberland.  Diversifying revenue sources strengthens the entire endowment trust land portfolio, making it more resilient to external forces that may impact one asset type.

In a separate transaction after the exchange is completed, the UI will work with the private land owner to bring the McCall property into UI ownership.  The MOSS campus has been used as an outdoor education facility since 1938, and the university and MOSS advocates for many years have indicated a desire for the university to acquire the property.

The UI endowment trust and the Normal Schools endowment trust (which benefits Lewis-Clark State College and the Idaho State University Department of Education) own the property. The UI and Normal Schools will receive hundreds of thousands of dollars more annually from the higher returns that the commercial building will generate.

The tenant of the Idaho Falls property is and would continue to be Battelle Energy Alliance, an operating contractor of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and collaborative partner with the UI, Boise State University, Idaho State University, and private industry.

The exchange shows the State’s support for the eastern Idaho community and the INL by committing to be a long-term landlord in the INL Research and Education campus in Idaho Falls.

Two Land Board members, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa and State Controller Brandon Woolf, recently held an open house in Idaho Falls to share information about the proposed land exchange with local officials and members of the public.