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Idaho education board approves change for state funding

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — Educational officials in Idaho have approved a temporary regulation allowing schools to use their full-time equivalent enrollment numbers instead of average daily attendance to calculate state funding as several students have started remote learning during the pandemic.

The Idaho State Board of Education unanimously approved the change, which is already in effect, the Lewiston Tribune reported on August 27.

The regulation will provide school districts the ability to count students who may not physically be in classrooms by measuring the amount of minutes students spend in their courses, Associate Deputy Superintendent Tim Hill said.

Several legislators had previously disagreed with the approved change, arguing for a legislative decision. Others have said the districts can’t afford to wait until January for the next legislative session.

The board is scheduled to revisit the rule after a 21-day comment period. The Legislature will then consider the pending rule in January.

Some schools have offered remote learning during the pandemic to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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