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Ybarra files lawsuit over budget cuts to the Idaho Department of Education

Sherri Ybarra said the state legislature cut over $2.7 million from her department, eliminating 18 positions and technology funding.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra presented her budget recommendations to the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee Thursday.

BOISE, Idaho — On Friday, Superintendent of Public Education Sherri Ybarra announced that she will be filing a lawsuit over two appropriation bills that the Idaho Legislature passed, which she said would cut nearly $3 million from her office's budget.

Ybarra said Senate Bills 1409 and 1410 would cut technology funding and 18 positions from the State Department of Education and prevent her from "fully discharging my constitutional duties."

The estimated budget cuts, according to Ybarra, would total $2,714,806.

She said the lawsuit "will ensure Idaho's citizens continue to be represented by a Superintendent who maintains the supervisory oversight and ability to direct critical public school operations, consistent with the Idaho Constitution."

Ybarra went onto say in a statement that the budget cuts delegate some of her powers set in the Idaho Consitution, under Article IV, Section 1. That power includes her ability to manage the System for Educational Excellence, which tracks students' data so officials and lawmakers can make educated decisions on education in Idaho, she explained in her statement.

She said that since the budget cuts were done through an appropriations bill, the legislature bypassed the normal committee procedures. Then when she said she tried compromising with the State Board of Education, the board rejected her solution, which now prevents her from doing her constitutional duties.

The two Senate bills go into effect on July 1.

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