“Building Idaho’s Future”: Gov. Little signs bills investing in education, workforce

Tuesday May 18, 2021

Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little signed the last of his “Building Idaho’s Future” bills this week, making strategic investments in education and Idaho’s workforce.

“We have a constitutional and moral obligation to prepare our students to become lifelong learners and eventual participants in our state’s workforce,” Governor Little said. “The goal of my ‘Building Idaho’s Future’ plan is to use Idaho’s record budget surplus to provide Idahoans historic tax relief and make strategic investments in education, transportation, broadband, water, and other critical areas to propel our state forward.”

The education-related “Building Idaho’s Future” bills include:

House Bill 356 – Literacy

  • $20 million to enhance literacy. The funds will be used for summer reading programs, providing support to students who fell behind in learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Bill 1154 – Career Technical Education

  • $3.5 million to expand and modernize secondary and post-secondary school programs to align with regional labor market needs.
  • $500,000 for workforce training centers to develop and deliver content to constituents statewide.
  • $750,000 for workforce training programs specific to the food processing and manufacturing industry.

House Bill 338 and Senate Bill 1214 – Colleges and Universities 

  • $3 million to advance priorities from the Huron Report, which aims to improve collaboration across universities and yield savings over time.
    • $2.5 million for an e-procurement system and $500,000 for the first phase of an enterprise resource planning study, which will enhance collaboration and coordination across the four-year institutions resulting in increased efficiencies.

House Bill 318 – Community Colleges

  • $1 million for a zero textbook cost program at the community colleges to provide required reading materials to students at no cost.

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