Keough, Hendrickx among education task force members

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Shawn Keough, executive director of the Associated Logging Contractors in Coeur d’Alene, and Jody Hendrickx, a St. Maries School Board member, are among the members of Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s Our Kids, Idaho’s Future Task Force for public education announced this morning.

Hendrickx also serves as the Idaho School Boards Association’s vice president, while Keough is a former state senator from Sandpoint.

The task force will formulate a five-year blueprint for improvement of and investment in Idaho’s K-12 public education system.

The group include teachers, school administrators, education stakeholders, business leaders and a bipartisan group of legislators from every part of the state.

Little introduced the concept of the “Our Kids, Idaho’s Future” Task Force in his first State of the State and Budget Address earlier this year.

“The ‘Our Kids, Idaho’s Future’ Task Force will adopt a broad-based, collaborative process to examine our public education system, with an emphasis on improving student achievement and accountability to parents and taxpayers,” Little said.

Little directed the group to establish the K-12 public education priorities for the next five years. It will review the K-12 budget to align investments with the priorities, with the overall goals of improving student achievement, identifying a framework to successfully measure student success, recruit and retain teachers and others.

The new task force builds on the education task force assembled by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter in 2013. The first task force demonstrated a model for education policymaking that resulted in recommendations to expand early literacy, teacher salary increases and increased dual credit opportunities for high school students. Idaho is in its fifth year implementing the recommendations of the first task force.

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