Teacher shortages, troubled charter, standards: this week’s State Board agenda

The State Board of Education will talk this week about the teacher shortage, and decide on the fate of a troubled online charter school.

The board will meet in Pocatello Tuesday and Wednesday, at the Pond Student Union Building at Idaho State University.

A few agenda items.

The teacher shortage. Board members will discuss a new State Board survey that revealed at least 700 K-12 teacher vacancies. In many cases, superintendents say they have only a handful of qualified applicants ­— or no applications at all. The board isn’t expected to take any action on this topic.

Another Choice. The board will consider an appeal from Another Choice Virtual Charter School, which faces a June 30 closure. The Idaho Public Charter School Commission has recommended the Nampa-based school’s closure, based on a variety of factors — including stagnant student performance and lax management. A hearing officer heard Another Choice’s appeal, and the officer is recommending closure. Another Choice serves about 500 at-risk students.

Higher ed strategic plans. The board will consider 2022-23 strategic plans for the state’s four-year institutions.

An emphasis on Idaho State. As is customary, State Board members will hear from their meeting host. Idaho State students and faculty will have a chance to address the board at a Tuesday community forum. After that, Idaho State will present its annual report to the board.

The standards transition. The board will hear an update on Idaho’s move to new academic standards in math, English language arts and science, effective July 1. A big and potentially costly piece of the transition involves aligning statewide tests to the new standards. Under federal deadlines, the state is supposed to have new tests in place next spring, but the State Board can request an extension.

Legislation. The 2023 legislative session is still seven months away, but board members will discuss possible proposals for next winter.

The State Board meetings are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. Wednesday. A live stream of the meetings will be available on Idaho State’s YouTube page.

Check back at Idaho Education News this week for meeting coverage.

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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