A Message From Janie

Dear Friends,

Thank you for visiting my website! I am honored to serve as the State Senator from District 18, one of the most dynamic and diverse districts in Boise. As a retired teacher, I have dedicated my career to improving our communities, and it is with a clear vision and an even firmer resolve that I strive to meet the needs and expectations of my District 18 neighbors.

With the Coronavirus pandemic, there is much to do in 2020 on behalf of the hard-working people of Idaho.  Proven leadership, and my experience in balancing Idaho’s budget will be essential.  Education will also be critical.  We must safely reopen our schools and provide the type of blended learning necessary to ensure our children are not left behind.  Teachers will need additional professional development and resources to address the gaps many of our students will face this fall.  Despite progress in recent years, Idaho still ranks at the bottom in per pupil spending and near the bottom in family income.  Like you, I consider these statistics to be unacceptable. Idaho can and should do better.  It is time we fully invest in education to ensure a bright and secure future for our children and the businesses of Idaho.

Looking back, 2019 marked a very productive session for the Idaho State Legislature.  We were able to implement the third rung of the Career Ladder teacher pay allocation.  As a retired classroom teacher and member of the Governor’s Task Force for K12 education, my goal is to increase teacher salaries to ensure we can recruit and retain highly skilled teachers. Though we have made some headway in teacher salaries, there is still much work to be done. I was pleased to sponsor and co-sponsor a number of bills. Among the most notable was suicide prevention training bill aimed at equipping schools and communities with necessary training to reduce the number of suicides in our state. I also co-sponsored many other bills.  Some of these included bills ensuring the value of teachers’ sick leave will be protected upon retirement, clarifying language necessitating deaf and hard of hearing citizens will have access to interpreters, Fair Chance bill, notice given to tenants before rent increases, driver education bill as well as many appropriation bills. I also served on the Governor’s Higher Education Task Force, the Public-School Funding Formula Interim Committee and “Our Kids, Idaho’s Future” Education Task Force.

While we still have many challenges to overcome, I am confident that through hard-work, dedication, and continued collaboration, we can make significant progress. I pledge to work tirelessly on your behalf to support our state’s full investment in education (both K12 and higher education), encourage responsible economic growth, protect our quality of life, and support tolerance for all Idaho citizens. If I can be of assistance, please contact me. Thank you for your support and input. It is an honor and a privilege to represent you.

Warmest Regards,

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Senator Janie Ward-Engelking