State Politics

Group guiding education in Idaho for next 5 years has been selected. See who made the list

Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Wednesday announced the members of his new task force that will craft a five-year blueprint for improvement of, and investment in, Idaho’s K-12 public education system.

The 26-member task force is comprised of teachers, school administrators, education stakeholders, business leaders and legislators from across the state.

Little has directed the group to review the K-12 budget to align investments with the priorities, with the overall goals of improving student achievement, identifying a framework to successfully measure student success, recruit and retain teachers, and other issues.

“The ‘Our Kids, Idaho’s Future’ Task Force will adopt a broad-based, collaborative process to examine our public education system, with an emphasis on improving student achievement and accountability to parents and taxpayers,” Little said in a news release.

The group plans to hold its first meeting June 3 in Boise. Its initial set of recommendations are due to Little in early November.

The new task force is a follow-up to the education task force assembled by former Gov. Butch Otter in 2013.

As the fifth year of Otter’s five-year education plan concludes, Little announced during his inaugural state of the state address in January that he is creating a new initiative and task force to help craft the state’s next long-term plan.

“It’s important to build on the progress this state has made in helping Idaho students succeed in school and beyond, and set ambitious goals for the next five years,” said task force member and Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra in a written statement.

Our Kids, Idaho’s Future Task Force members:

Co-chairwoman Debbie Critchfield, Idaho State Board of Education president

Co-chairman Bill Gilbert, Caprock co-founder and managing director, Boise

Juan Alvarez, INL deputy director management and operations, Idaho Falls

Marc Beitia, American Falls High School teacher and 2019 Idaho Teacher of the Year

Cheryl Charlton, Idaho Digital Learning Academy superintendent

Rep. Lance Clow, R-Twin Falls

Rep. Mat Erpelding, D-Boise

Katherine Hart, Melaleuca associate general counsel, Idaho Falls

Jody Hendrickx, St. Maries School District trustee and Idaho School Boards Association vice president

Rep. Wendy Horman, R-Idaho Falls

Shawn Keough, Associated Logging Contractors executive director, Coeur d’Alene

Pete Koehler, retired chief deputy superintendent and former Nampa High School principal and superintendent

Kurt Liebich, RedBuilt CEO, Boise

Erin McCandless, Idaho State PTA president

Rep. Gary Marshall, R-Idaho Falls

Rep. Jason Monks, R-Nampa

Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls

Kari Overall, Idaho Education Association president

Jennifer Parkins, Genesee Joint School District board chairwoman and Idaho School Boards Association president

Mary Ann Ranells, West Ada School District superintendent

Terry Ryan, Bluum CEO, Boise

Luke Schroeder, Kimberly School District superintendent

Matt Van Vleet, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories government affairs director, Lewiston

Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise

Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise

Sherri Ybarra, Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction

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Idaho Statesman investigative reporter Cynthia Sewell was named Idaho Press Club reporter of the year in 2017 and 2008. A University of Oregon graduate, she joined the Statesman in 2005. Her family has lived in Idaho since the mid-1800s.