State Board schedules do-over on meeting marked by a streaming glitch

(UPDATED, 4:05 p.m., with meeting set for Wednesday.) 

The State Board of Education is calling a do-over on a virtual meeting that appeared to violate Idaho’s open meeting law.

The board continued to meet Monday afternoon even though its live Facebook video stream failed. The stream was the only method available for the public to watch the two-hour meeting.

“This was an inadvertent mistake and after consulting with the office of the attorney general, we are working to schedule a special board meeting to correct this,” State Board President Debbie Critchfield said in a news release Tuesday.

The new meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday.

State law allows a public agency to acknowledge an open meeting violation and “cure” the violation by holding a second meeting. At that time, the agency can vote again on any items taken up during the original meeting.

The board voted on three “action items” Monday — including a failed bid from state superintendent Sherri Ybarra, who was hoping to retain jurisdiction over 18 IT and data management positions. The 2020 Legislature moved those positions from Ybarra’s State Department of Education to the State Board, and on Monday, the board upheld lawmakers’ decision.

For weeks, during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the State Board has used virtual platforms to conduct weekly business. A State Board spokesman provided Idaho Education News with a dial-in number to listen to Monday’s meeting, and video from the meeting is now posted on the State Board Facebook page, but the board decided Tuesday on a do-over.

“We learned a lesson Monday night about taking technology for granted and we won’t let that happen again,” Critchfield said.

Anyone interested in listening to Wednesday’s meeting can call (877) 820-7829, and use public participation code 8461895.



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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