Idaho’s Board of Education voted Thursday that students will have to take two online courses to graduate high school. The requirement is unique in the nation. Education Board spokesman Mark Browning says there is one more step.
Mark Browning " The legislature will get the opportunity to review the rule in January. If and when the legislature approves of it, then it becomes a permanent rule. And should they choose to reject it then we would have to start over but for right now it is in place, it’s done.”
Lawmakers are unlikely to reject the requirement. When the legislature passed Idaho’s new Students Come First education laws earlier this year the mandate for online classes was included. But lawmakers passed the job of setting the number of classes to the state board. The Idaho Education Association says the rule disregards parental choice and local control. The statewide teachers union also says the board overruled the wishes of most Idahoans. Browning acknowledges they got a lot of negative feedback.
Mark Browning “The overwhelming majority of the feedback we got was opposition to the law itself. The law is the law. We don’t have the luxury of saying, you know what, we don’t agree with the law either so we’re not going to obey it. The law stipulates the board shall determine the number of credits required for online. We have to implement some sort of requirement.”
Browning says the board couldn''t set the online class requirement at "zero" because that would have violated the spirit of the law.