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Lawmakers aim to reject, replace Idaho education standards

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 13, 2022

The Idaho House of Representatives works late into the evening at the Statehouse in Boise on May 12, 2021.  (Associated Press)
The Idaho House of Representatives works late into the evening at the Statehouse in Boise on May 12, 2021. (Associated Press)
By Keith Ridler Associated Press

BOISE – A panel of Idaho lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation to reject math, science and English standards used to make sure Idaho’s more than 300,000 K-12 students are meeting specific criteria.

The House Education Committee also introduced legislation to replace them with new draft standards and direct the State Board of Education to advance the draft standards through the state’s arcane administrative rules process.

The same committee tried to kill the standards in 2020 but that effort failed in the Senate.

Backers of current standards say they’re needed to keep Idaho students competitive while opponents say they make kids lose interest in learning and it’s nearly impossible for parents to help them with homework.

The draft standards the House committee wants to see brought forward have already been written and are available for public viewing. The committee expected them to go through the state’s negotiated rulemaking process in 2021 and come before the committee for approval this legislative session.

But changing the education standards requires a predicted financial cost, and the drafts didn’t contain that.

The bill introduced Thursday would force state officials to put the drafts through the rulemaking process so they could be in place by 2024.

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