Eight is (more than enough): State Board puts dated rules on the chopping block

It’s not a big dent — in the context of more than 8,000 pages of rules — but eight State Board of Education rules are officially on the chopping block.

Without discussion,  the board agreed to let the rules expire this summer. The decision came during a daylong meeting and board retreat at Boise State University.

It’s an incremental step in the long process of reviewing and renewing rules from all state agencies, including the State Board. The 2019 Legislature ended the session deadlocked on the issue, failing to pass the annual, end-of-session omnibus bill that ratifies all agency rules. That impasse created a bureaucratic limbo affecting all rules — not just newly written rules, but also regulations that have been on the books for years.

Gov. Brad Little has signaled that he wants to leave education rules intact. But Little and his advisers have also said the review opens up the opportunity to redline rules that are outdated or redundant.

In that vein, the State Board says it has identified rules that have outlived their usefulness.

One rule, according to a board staff report, “pertains to a loan repayment program that has not been funded in over a decade and is now obsolete.” Another rule carves out an exception to a ban on alcohol at university buildings, but state law supersedes this rule.

While these State Board rules are likely to vanish from the docket — along with some rules from other agencies — the vast majority of regulations appear likely to remain on the books.

Little’s staff is preparing to renew the bulk of the agency rules on July 1 on a temporary basis. That means the 2020 Legislature will still have the chance to review the rules — but for the most part, the rules will need only the backing of a House or Senate 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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