Former ISBA chief appointed to state charter commission

Former Idaho School Boards Association Executive Director Karen Echeverria is the newest member of the Idaho Public Charter School Commission.

Karen Echeverria

Echeverria Tuesday acknowledged her appointment along with an email from Gov. Brad Little’s office confirming her place on the seven-member commission. The appointment was effective Monday.

Echeverria, a longtime influencer of Idaho’s public education system, replaces outgoing commissioner Julie VanOrden, who is running for re-election to the Idaho Senate’s District 30 seat. Echeverria’s term expires May 12, 2026.

Echeverria, who retired as ISBA’s leader in December, joins the commission that oversees 57 Idaho charters, nearly three-fourths of the state’s 77 charters. Its role includes approving new charters and school performance frameworks, tracking outcomes and closing struggling schools, which has only happened twice in the commission’s more than 20 years of existence.

“I appreciate the governor’s trust in my abilities, and I look forward to serving,” Echeverria told EdNews Tuesday.

Echeverria’s past roles include senior secretary redrafting administrative rules at the Department of Water Resources. She worked in similar roles at the Department of Health and Welfare and the Office of Administrative Rules. She was a deputy executive director for the State Board of Education and became ISBA’s executive director in 2008.

Echeverria’s appointment marks the commission’s second this year. In February, Little appointed College of Southern Idaho President Dean Fisher to the commission. Click here for a list of commissioners.

Devin Bodkin

Devin Bodkin

EdNews assistant editor and reporter Devin Bodkin is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He lives and works in East Idaho. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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