Is Idaho’s senior math requirement history? Not exactly

It sounds simple enough: A newly passed law is supposed to rescind Idaho’s senior year math requirement.

But state officials say it’s more complicated than that — and because of that, the senior requirement remains in place.

Here’s the explanation.

Senate Bill 1266 does rescind language requiring students to take two semesters of math in their final year of high school.

The law amends a section of law pertaining to the “encouragement of gifted students.” However, graduation requirements are found in administrative rules, written by the State Board of Education, and the new law doesn’t change the math requirements found in rule.

The State Board and the State Department of Education contacted school districts Friday to try to clear up the confusion. But the State Board and the SDE said it’s unclear whether the board will change its rules to reflect the new law.

Last week, Gov. Butch Otter allowed SB 1266 to become law without his signature. In a letter explaining his decision, Otter alluded to the confusing process. “What saves this bill from a veto is the fact that the math requirement for graduation will remain in effect by administrative rule even with this statutory change.”

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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