The state Board of Education is holding hearings across the state on its sweeping high school redesign proposal, which seeks to make Idaho’s high school curriculum much tougher and impose new requirements down into the junior high level as well. But some attendees have been miffed that the board hasn’t been attending the hearings. Hundreds of people turned out for a hearing in Boise this week, with many expressing concern about how Idaho high school students will be able to fit in electives like choir and band under the new requirements, but only two board members were there to hear them. At another hearing in Twin Falls this week, just one board member was there – and he left for an hour, leaving just a transcriptionist listening, according to KTVB-TV news reports.
“State board members are attending the hearings in their area,” said board spokeswoman Luci Willits. “Karen McGee attended in Pocatello, Blake Hall in Idaho Falls, It’s not a full board hearing. But there has been a board member at every hearing.”
Plus, she said, all the public comments are being taped and transcribed. “The board will have an opportunity to review every one.” State board members are volunteers, Willits said, and are only able to attend the hearings in their regions. “But they’ll have a chance to review them all,” she said.
The next public hearing on the plan is Oct. 18 in Lewiston, at the LCSC Williams Conference Center, followed by one Oct. 19 in Coeur d’Alene at the Edminster Student Union at North Idaho College. Both will begin at 6:30 p.m.