The J.A. and Kathyrn Albertson Foundation has a lot of clout when it comes to education policy in Idaho. More importantly, it has a lot of money. So when the foundation threatened to withhold $4.5 million in previously pledged funds, the Idaho Legislature's budget writing committee was put back on its heels.
The Associated Press reports that the Albertson Foundation promised a total of $21 million in 2011 to secure student-performance monitoring software. But the final $4.5 million of that total has been threatened because the foundation says lawmakers need to first restore taxpayer funding for teacher professional development—which was "put into jeopardy," according to the AP, when Idaho voters rejected the Students Come First initiatives in November 2012.
Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, who helped craft the initiatives, said he's prepared to announce a remedy for the potential loss of funding, perhaps within a week.