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Luna says he’ll expand ‘Students Come First’ tech task force to 35 members

Idaho state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna announced today that he's expanding the 28-member technology task force that will oversee implementation of his “Students Come First” tech plan to add seven additional members - two parents, three local school board members, and two “at-large” members. Of the 28 members already called for in SB 1184, the school reform bill that included the task force, Luna is charged with appointing 17. “Because of overwhelming interest from across Idaho, I have added positions for parents, school board trustees and at-large members to ensure we have broad-based and balanced representation on this task force, which will play a critical role in the implementation of Students Come First,” Luna said. Click below for his full announcement; he's accepting applications and nominations for his appointees to the panel.

Luna can do this because the clause of SB 1184 that calls for the task force, on page 21 of the 24-page bill, says he'll serve as the chairman of the task force and designates particular types of appointments he'll make to the task force “at a minimum,” including four school district superintendents, one head of a virtual public charter school, two secondary school classroom teachers and so forth. The others who get to appoint task force members - the House and Senate, which get two appointments each; the governor's office, which gets one; and the Idaho Education Association, Northwest Professional Educators, Idaho School Boards Association, Idaho Association of School Administrators, Idaho Business Coalition for Education Excellence, and Idaho Digital Learning Academy, each of which get one appointee - don't have that “at a minimum” language.


Idaho State Department of Education                                                                           

May 5, 2011                                                                                                              
www.sde.idaho.gov                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                         
SUPERINTENDENT LUNA EXPANDS TECHNOLOGY TASK FORCE

BOISE – Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna announced today he will expand the membership of the statewide Students Come First Technology Task Force to ensure parents and locally elected school board members are represented.

Under Senate Bill 1184, the Superintendent of Public Instruction is required to convene a task force to help in implementing the technology components of the Students Come First law, including the one-to-one ratio of mobile computing devices in high schools.  The task force must be made up of at least 28 members, 17 of whom the Superintendent appoints.

“Because of overwhelming interest from across Idaho, I have added positions for parents, school board trustees and at-large members to ensure we have broad-based and balanced representation on this task force, which will play a critical role in the implementation of Students Come First,” Superintendent Luna said. These stakeholders were not previously required to hold positions on the task force.

Under the law, the State Superintendent will appoint: 4 school district superintendents, 2 district technology directors, 2 secondary school principals, 1 district business manager, 1 head of a virtual public charter school, 1 head of a traditional public charter school that serves grades 9-12, 2 secondary classroom teachers, 1 private sector education technology expert that does not provide online courses or mobile computing devices, and 3 representatives of the business community.

Now, Superintendent Luna also will appoint:

    * 3 school board trustees
    * 2 parents
    * 2 at-large members

The remaining task force members will include a representative of the Office of the Governor, two members of the Idaho House, two members of the Idaho Senate, and a representative of each of the educational stakeholder groups:  Idaho Education Association, Northwest Professional Educators, Idaho School Boards Association, Idaho Association of School Administrators, Idaho Business Coalition for Education Excellence, and Idaho Digital Learning Academy.

The State Department of Education is still accepting applications and nominations for people interested in serving on the task force. To learn more, visit http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/studentsComeFirst/tech.htm.  The deadline to apply is Friday, May 13, 2011.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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