Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna couldn't get lawmakers to agree to require online courses in high school, but he told the New York Times the State Board of Education will back a mandate.
In January, Luna proposed mandating that eight of 46 required high school courses be taken online. In the face of opposition from lawmakers, he scaled that back to six, then four. But lawmakers removed the provision in Senate Bill 1184, deferring details on online mandates to the unelected State Board of Education.
In a story published in the Times on Wednesday, Luna said he will propose a rule this summer and the board will back him.
“I have no doubt we’ll get a robust rule through them,” he told the Times. Four online courses is “going to be the starting number.”
Luna is the only elected member of the eight-member board. The others were appointed by Gov. Butch Otter, who supports the Luna reform plan.
Luna's spokesman, Melissa McGrath, offered this comment Wednesday afternoon:
"In the Statesman’s coverage of a NY Times article, I think it’s important to note that SB 1184 requires the State Board to consider an online learning requirement for the Class of 2016. In following with letter of the law in SB 1184, Superintendent Luna will take a proposal to the State Board. Four credits will likely be the starting point of the discussion since that was the number discussed during the Legislative session. This number is subject to change. Superintendent Luna’s comments reflect what is in the bill."