When there are ‘multiple education topics’ to discuss …

Asked about state superintendent Sherri Ybarra’s Monday meeting with Gov. Brad Little, Ybarra spokeswoman Kris Rodine provided no details.

“They talked about multiple education topics,” Rodine said in a Tuesday email.

While terse, Rodine’s assessment appears accurate. In an interview Wednesday, Little education adviser Greg Wilson said the two elected officials discussed, well, multiple topics.

One subject: Little’s new K-12 task force, Our Kids, Idaho’s Future. Little wanted to discuss the issues he’d like his task force to address, and wanted to get Ybarra’s feedback on the makeup of the group.

Another subject was the issue that dominated this year’s legislative endgame: agency rules. When lawmakers adjourned for the year in April, they failed to agree on a bill to ratify some 8,200 pages of rules. That leaves Little and his staff to sift through these rules. Little’s staff faces a Friday deadline: They must provide the Division of Financial Management with a list of rules they want considered as “temporary and proposed” rules. Those rules would remain in effect until the 2020 legislative session, pending approval from a House or Senate committee.

Some “antiquated” rules will be allowed to expire, Wilson said Wednesday. DFM administrator Alex Adams has told Idaho Education News that education rules will remain intact.

Little and Ybarra also discussed teacher salaries, another murky issue from the 2019 session. During Ybarra’s post-legislative session “roadshow” sessions, educators and education officials puzzled over a new state law that refers to a minimum salary for teachers with a few years of classroom experience. Little maintains that the law does not establish a second salary mandate, in addition to the state’s mandated minimum salary for beginning teachers.

Both Rodine and Wilson categorized Monday’s meeting as routine business.

“I think we have a good working relationship,” Wilson said.

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]

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday