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Eye On Boise

Otter wants state board to take ‘more active role’ in K-12 education

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter wants the state Board of Education to take a “more active role” in K-12 education, Idaho Education News reports, while in the past he had asked the board to focus on higher education. Otter articulated the new direction in a letter to the board over the summer, EdNews reports, in which he cited the 20 recommendations of his education task force, and said, “It may be necessary for the board to assume management of various task force initiatives,” and said he’d push for more funding and staff for the board if needed.

Idaho’s elected state superintendent of public instruction oversees K-12 education, and also serves as a member of the board, which has oversight of K-12, higher education, Idaho Public Television, vocational education and more.

Jeff Church, spokesman for state schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra, told EdNews that Ybarra isn’t worried about her office’s powers being usurped, and sees Otter’s letter as a simple reminder to stay the course on task force recommendations. Plus, he said, in an era of dual credit and advanced learning programs, the lines between K-12 and higher education are blurring anyway. “Students throughout Idaho deserve to have their government agencies working together to secure their future,” Church said.

EdNews reporter Kevin Richert has a full report here.



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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