Lanza: Task force can’t afford to aim low

As Gov. Butch Otter’s education task force heads into its second meeting, task force member Mike Lanza says the issue boils down to one question: How good a school system does Idaho want?

In a blog post Wednesday, the co-founder of Idaho Parents and Teachers Together cited two snapshots from the group’s first meeting Jan. 11.

  • Lanza cited Rep. Reed DeMordaunt, chairman of the House Education Committee, who said Idaho shouldn’t settle for less than the best possible education system. “No one disagreed with that sentiment, and many on the task force were clearly happy to hear that coming from the House education chairman.”
  • Lanza also cited a remark from Ken Edmunds, president of the State Board of Education, which oversees the 31-member task force. Edmunds said the group should only consider options that don’t cost anything. Said Lanza: “Should the governor’s task force limit our options only to those that are free—in other words, should we pursue only the politically easiest solutions?”

More from Lanza’s post:

“The entire state is watching this task force. The public has been asked to believe that by bringing together the various parties with a stake in public schools—including many accomplished and experienced educators, legislators with deep backgrounds in education issues, parents, and business leaders—that this process should and will succeed in achieving real progress for our schools. …

“We on the task force do not have the luxury of aiming low.”

The task force meets again Friday. Check in at for the latest.

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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