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Senate Bill 1285 — Mandated school trustee training

Senate Bill 1285 — Mandated school trustee training

Wayne Hoffman
February 6, 2020

Bill description: SB 1285 would require elected school board officials to undergo state-mandated training by the State Board of Education or an entity it designates.

Rating: -2

Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government? 

This bill would require each elected or appointed school board member to undergo training on issues in board governance, “issues of current concern in public education,” and innovation and change in public education. The State Board of Education would oversee the training or hand it off to a “designee,” according to the bill. While the language of the bill is subjective, what is not subjective is the fact that the State Board of Education would have an expanded role: training school board officials in how to do their jobs. The legislation is not clear about what would happen if a school board member fails to comply with this requirement.


Does it transfer a function of the private sector to the government? Examples include government ownership or control of any providers of goods or services such as the Land Board’s purchase of a self-storage facility, mandatory emissions testing, or pre-kindergarten. Conversely, does it eliminate a function of government or return a function of government to the private sector?

Many private sector education organizations already provide school board members and other people in public education with training and resources, and highlight current issues and innovative approaches. This legislation would cause a state agency to take on this responsibility and give special standing to those issues or perspectives that the agency wants to highlight to the exclusion of others.


Analyst note: It is conceivable that the “designee” for this legislation would be a private sector organization, perhaps the Idaho School Board Association or Idaho Education, as examples. Still, this legislation interferes with the spontaneous order of the market, in which school board members can choose the training that is most appealing or applicable to them or that of their district.

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