In Latest Campaign Gaffe, Ybarra's Degrees In Question

Oct 22, 2014

Sherri Ybarra is a Republican running to lead Idaho's public schools.
Credit Aaron Kunz / Idaho Public Television

This story was updated at 6:50 p.m. Oct. 23. 

Sherri Ybarra's campaign has issued a statement about her academic achievements after questions surfaced earlier this week about whether she was in the process of completing a doctorate in education.

Idaho Education News reports that Ybarra is 18 credits shy of completing her doctorate.

“Ybarra currently maintains a 3.82 GPA and needs 18 credit hours in her dissertation toward completing her doctorate degree,” the campaign’s statement said.

This story was originally posted Oct. 22.

The Spokesman-Review reports Republican superintendent of schools hopeful Sherri Ybarra is not on the way to earning a doctorate degree in education, as she's previously said.

Ybarra has said she was working on her doctorate at the University of Idaho, but the school says that isn't true.

"University spokeswoman Andrea Barlow said Ybarra was awarded an educational specialist degree with an emphasis in education leadership," the Spokesman-Review reports.

Ybarra's campaign hasn't responded to the latest gaffe in a string of public missteps.

"She’s acknowledged that her campaign website plagiarized material directly from her opponent’s, for which she apologized. She incorrectly named a former GOP primary rival as an official of her campaign when he hadn’t endorsed either candidate. She acknowledged misstating her personal history, neglecting to mention a previous marriage and instead suggesting her current husband’s military career brought her to the state in 1996. And she admitted never voting in a general election since she moved to the state; Ybarra said she’s running for state superintendent in part to “repay” Idaho for that lapse." - Spokesman-Review

Former school superintendent and fellow Republican Jerry Evans told the Spokesman there's a big difference between a doctorate and an educational specialist degree.

The Spokesman reports that Evans hasn't endorsed Ybarra or her opponent Democrat Jana Jones.

"I don’t think Sherri has any idea...With regard to the state board and how the Legislature works and all that sort of thing, I think she’s just a total novice," Evans told the Spokesman. "She’s just almost clueless.”