Ybarra’s red tape committee steps out of the shadows

State superintendent Sherri Ybarra’s red tape committee is stepping into the sunshine.

The committee voted Tuesday to open its meetings to the media — an about-face from its position in February.

The committee is a working group of 17 school district and charter school administrators, working with staff from the State Board of Education and Ybarra’s State Department of Education. The red tape committee began working in January, looking for ways to streamline state reporting requirements.

But that also means the committee has been looking at several documents and reports that directly relate to school accountability — such as teacher evaluations, literacy plans, charter school performance reports and school continuous improvement plans.

In February, members of the committee voted to close their meetings to the public, denying Idaho Education News’ request to attend. At that time, Ybarra spokeswoman Allison Westfall polled the committee’s members about Idaho Education News’ request; 13 of the 17 members responded, and nine said they wanted to meet behind closed doors.

The committee voted Tuesday to open its meetings, Westfall said. And Tuesday’s meeting was not the committee’s final meeting.

“The committee will continue to meet,” Westfall said.

The next step comes in June, when the State Board of Education will consider recommendations from the red tape committee.

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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