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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Report: Rural Idaho sees struggles in education compared with nation

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Thursday, January 11, 2024   

A new report highlights Idaho's need to focus on rural education during the upcoming legislative session.

The National Rural Education Association's Why Rural Matters 2023 ranks Idaho in the bottom half of states for its support of rural students.

Executive Director of the National Rural Education Association, Allen Pratt, said a few of the data points show where the state is struggling.

"You can look at things like the number of students per school counselor or school psychologist - that's always a big issue," said Pratt. "So, it's 387 to one. So one guidance counselor or school psych to 387 students. That's a pretty high number."

In his State of the State address on Monday, Gov. Brad Little said education should be among the top priorities for legislators this session.

Idaho also ranked low in measures such as the percentage of rural school-aged children who lack health insurance, which was nearly 10%.

Idaho's lowest marker was for the amount of instructional money spent per rural student. Allen said the state ranks last.

"You're looking at $4,900-per-pupil instructional expenditure," said Pratt. "That's kind of alarming."

While the report shows there's room for improvement, Allen noted that there are some highlights for Idaho.

The state ranks high for the number of high school students who graduate compared with their urban and suburban counterparts, for example.




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