ISBA sets priorities for 2020 legislative session

The Government Affairs Committee of one of Idaho’s biggest education lobbying groups, the Idaho School Boards Association, voted last week on its legislative priorities for the 2020 legislative session. On the list: protecting Idaho’s Common Core standards and changing the way neighborhoods swap school districts.

Each year, members of the ISBA (most every public charter and traditional public school in Idaho) convene for a conference where they craft the organization’s lobbying platforms. Honing those into a set of priorities falls to the group’s Government Affairs Committee, made up of board members and representatives of large and small districts across the state.

One of those priorities is defending Idaho’s Common Core standards against a possible attempt to remove them this year.

Legislators left the 2019 session without approving administrative rules (which govern things like Idaho’s education standards). That means that this year legislators get to review every single rule on the books. Some lawmakers, like House Education Committee member Dorothy Moon, have made it clear they’re interested in using the opportunity to remove the Common Core standards that Idaho adopted to guide education.

ISBA will fight that.

“It’s our goal to see that the content standards remain – at least for the time being – intact,” said Quinn Perry, Policy and Government Affairs Director for the ISBA.

The content standards were heavily vetted prior to implementation,  Perry said, and removing the standards without a replacement could cause serious upheaval for districts.

Other 2020 ISBA priorities include:

This list is by no means exhaustive, Perry said, and ISBA’s work will adjust as education bills and issues are introduced.

A conservative financial year and a stalemate over administrative rules played a role in shaping ISBA’s priorities this year, Perry said.

“Tight budgets are absolutely at the forefront of our discussions,” she said. “A lot of our resolutions are related to funding, and we know that they are a big ask.”

Sami Edge

About Sami Edge

Reporter Sami Edge, a University of Oregon graduate, joined Idaho Education News in 2019. She is a 2019 Education Writers Association fellow reporting on Latino student outcomes in Idaho. She also is a 2019 American Press Institute fellow. She can be reached at sedge@idahoednews.org.

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