Ybarra launches online survey on school safety plan

State superintendent Sherri Ybarra’s $20.8 million school safety initiative isn’t going anywhere right away, but she’d still like to get feedback from Idahoans.

Ybarra Monday introduced an online survey covering her Keep Idaho Students Safe initiative, announced March 12.

“We know what we want to do – help schools and districts keep their students safe through education, trained security presence and statewide resources to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies,” Ybarra said in a news release. “But it’s essential to get feedback from schools, students and families to make sure their concerns and needs are represented.”

Ybarra has proposed an $18.7 million grant program for hiring security staff at every school, a three-credit, 45-hour school safety course for teachers and administrators; and hiring a statewide “crisis communications counselor,” position, costing nearly $117,000 in salaries, fringe benefits and operational costs.

Ybarra did not seek any funding for her safety initiative for 2018-19. She says she will push for the initiative in 2019. In the meantime, Wilder district Superintendent Jeff Dillon is running against Ybarra in the May 15 Republican primary, and if Ybarra gets the GOP nomination, she would face Boise Democrat Allen Humble or Meridian Democrat Cindy Wilson in the November general election.

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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