State Board search: still no word on appointments

Fifty days after the application deadline, Gov. Brad Little hasn’t filled two vacancies on the State Board of Education.

And it’s unclear when Little will make his first appointments to a powerful eight-member panel that crafts K-12 and higher education policy. On Monday, spokeswoman Marissa Morrison Hyer provided no details about the status of the appointments — or when Little expects to make his decisions.

Little is looking to replace two veteran board members — Don Soltman of Twin Lakes and Richard Westerberg of Preston — who served a combined 22 years on the board.

Thirty-eight Idahoans applied for the vacancies by the June 17 deadline. The applicants’ list includes educators, past and current school trustees, and several former legislators.

State Board President Debbie Critchfield says she has been communicating with Little education aide Greg Wilson on the search process. In an interview last month with Idaho Education News, Critchfield said she was hopeful Little would make appointments in time for the board’s next full meeting, on Aug. 28 and 29.

The shorthanded board will meet Wednesday afternoon. The board has only one item on Wednesday’s agenda: hiring a new University of Idaho athletic director.

Board appointments serve five-year terms, and are subject to Senate confirmation.

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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