Evening Conversation: The Pros and Cons of Publicly Funded Early Childhood Education
Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 6:30pm- 8:00 pm
Boise State Radio Community Room 220 E. Parkcenter Blvd (Yanke Family Research Park)
Beth Oppenheimer, Executive Director of the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children , Tom Luna, former Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction and current Partner at The Strategos Group

 

In January, the City Club of Boise launched a new Evening Conversation event designed to bring differing, and potentially contentious view points to the table, while allowing a civil and engaged audience into the conversation. Our aspiration is that during the dialog portion of these Evening Conversation events, Members may disagree without being disagreeable and in keeping with those values, zealous advocacy will be embraced, as long as such advocacy is civil, responsible, and reflects City Club’s mission. We ask guests of this Evening Conversation to be mindful of others during the engaged dialog bound to occur during these conversations, and beyond. Our hope is that this intimate setting will open the doors for even more engaged citizenry in our community around relevant and difficult topics to be presented.

 


 

Join City Club members for an Evening Conversation on "The Pros and Cons of Publicly Funded Early Childhood Education". The presenters who will share their thoughts on both sides of this question will be Beth Oppenheimer, Executive Director of the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children, and Tom Luna, former Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction and current Partner at The Strategos Group. These Conversations are an opportunity to join in Civil Discussion about issues of import to those of us in the Treasure Valley and beyond, and to look at those issues from differing points of view.

 

Civility will be required. City Club champions “passionately non-partisan” discussion between diverse perspectives.

 

 

Time: 6:30 PM -8:00 PM

Location: Boise State Radio Community Room

220 E. Parkcenter Blvd (Yanke Family Research Park)

Event Cost:

$15 City Club Member price

$18 Non-member price

 

Registration Link

 

*Attendance will be limited to 20 people to allow everyone the opportunity to engage in the conversation.

 

Water and lite refreshments will be provided during this event.

 


Speaker Biographies:

 

Beth Oppenheimer has spent many years advocating for the needs of young children and is committed to advancing opportunities for all Idaho families. As a working mother of two children, she understands the challenges facing working families and their abilities to support their children’s care and learning. Beth has served as the Executive Director of the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (Idaho AEYC) since 2010. She has led many initiatives which include strengthening child care licensing at both the city and state level, Let’s Move Child Care and is currently the lead advocate for state investments for preschool in Idaho.

Previously, Beth served as the Associate Director for the Student Union Building at Boise State University where she gained valuable experiences in business while at the same time provided on-the-job training opportunities for college students. She has also worked on education, policy, and development issues for the University of Idaho, the Junior Achievement of the National Capital Area (DC) and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington, DC.

Beth is very involved in her community and serves on several boards and committees which include the Treasure Valley YMCA, Andrus Center for Public Policy and in 2016 was elected to serve on the Boise School District Board of Trustees.

 

 

Tom Luna was elected Idaho State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2006 and served two terms. Today, Tom is nationally known and recognized for his work to improve education by putting students first. While serving as State Superintendent, Tom was elected President of the Council of Chief State School Officers. In 2009 Tom was appointed by the US Secretary of Education to the National Assessment Governing Board. Tom was also a member of Chiefs for Change. During Tom’s years as State Superintendent, Idaho passed arguably the most comprehensive education reforms laws in the country, including: modernizing collective bargaining laws, creating a career ladder for teachers and expanding school choice. Tom worked to ensure equal access and opportunity for all students through investments in and the proper implementation of technology and strengthened school accountability by implementing a 5 Star rating system.

Tom worked with Idaho leaders to create the Fast Forward program that gives high school students $4125.00 to pay for college credit bearing courses. Today tens of thousands of Idaho students are earning college credits and 1000’s are on their way to graduating high school with an Associate’s Degree. Idaho also launched the popular Math Initiative, partnered with NASA to create the Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars program, increased funding for teacher professional development and passed legislation to provide long overdue facility funding for public charter schools.

Because of Tom’s visionary leadership, Idaho led the nation in closing achievement gaps. Idaho saw record gains in high school graduation rates and Idaho lead the nation in the increase in the number of schools meeting state academic standards. According to NAEP results Idaho students ranked 8th in the nation in math and 12th in reading.

Before serving as State Superintendent, Tom served on the Nampa school board for seven years and worked for the US Department of Education as an advisor to Secretary Rod Paige in the George W. Bush administration.

Tom is also a successful businessman. He and his brother built a successful Idaho business for over the past 35 years.

Prior to becoming a partner at Strategos, Tom served as Senior VP of Government Relations at Project Lead The Way (PLTW). PLTW is the nation’s leader in career readiness education with programs in over 13,000 school in all 50 states, serving over 3 million students.

 

 


City Club thanks our Premier Sponsor, Northwest Nazarene University and the NNU School of Business and our Annual sponsor, Idaho Humanities Council.