State Board June Meeting Summary


Utah State Board of Education Meeting Summary

June 6, 2014


In its June 6 meeting, the Utah State Board of Education:

View the full summary at:

Board Considers Not Applying for an Extension on Utah’s ESEA Waiver

The Utah State Board of Education agreed to postpone a decision on whether to apply for an extension to its waiver under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Should Utah not apply for the extension, the state would again be subject to the provisions of NCLB, which could potentially end up labeling all Utah Title I schools — high poverty schools — as not making adequate yearly progress and shifting control of up to $50 million in federal funds targeted to those schools.

The Board will likely take up the issue again during its August 8 meeting, which is likely near the time the application for an extension will be due. Utah is awaiting receipt of a report from the U.S. Department of Education that will start the clock ticking for a 60-day countdown to file for an extension. That report is due at any time, but had not been received by June 6.

Forty-three states, including Utah, are operating under ESEA extensions. ESEA was due for reauthorization in 2007, but has yet to be acted upon in Congress. The Obama administration beganoffering waivers to states in 2011 to exempt them from provisions of the act which includes having all students proficient in math and reading by 2014.

Members of Utah’s legislative and congressional delegations have raised the question whether Utah should continue to operate on a waiver from ESEA. The Board sought more information from staff on the implications of dropping its waiver.

For Additional Information

Judy Park, Associate Superintendent for Student Services and Federal Programs, at (801) 538-7550.

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Board Eyes Flexibility in High School Computer Credits, Graduation Initiative

After viewing proposals from its grading, financial literacy, and digital literacy task forces, the Utah State Board of Education directed staff to maintain the existing half-year high school credit for computer technology and to allow other digital technology classes (e.g., AP Computer Science) to cover the required credit, but also potentially to cover an essential high school science credit as well. The Board also directed staff to design a higher level computer science class that will be counted as a core science credit.

In addition, the Board voted to keep the half-year required financial literacy course as a social studies course and to not make other changes than those already required by recent legislation.

The Board will continue to study the task forces’ recommendations with an eye on creating a high school graduation initiative for the 2015 general session of the Utah Legislature.

For Additional Information

Brenda Hales, Deputy Superintendent, at (801) 538-7515.

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Board Reaffirms Local Curriculum Control, Seeks Parental Involvement Rule

After studying Utah’s secondary math standards, the Utah State Board of Education voted to reaffirm that local school districts and charter schools maintain control over all curriculum and pedagogy issues, including math curriculum. The Board also asked that discussion begin in August on creating a new board rule requiring districts and charters to set up a formal system for parents and patrons to raise concerns over curriculum.

For Additional Information

Brenda Hales, Deputy Superintendent, at (801) 538-7515.

Sydnee Dickson, Teaching and Learning Director, at (801) 538-7739.

Diana Suddreth, STEM and Math 7-12 Coordinator, at (801) 538-7794.

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Board Approves New Rule; Tentatively Approves New Rule, Nine Amendments

The Utah State Board of Education gave tentative approval to the following proposed new rule and rule changes. Final approval will likely come during the Board’s August 8 meeting:

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New Charter School, Four Charter Amendments Approved

The Utah State Board of Education approved the application for Athenian eAcademy, a proposed blended technology and multi-satellite K-12 charter school for the 2015-16 school year. The Board also approved the following charter school amendments:

For Additional Information

marlies[dot]burns[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(Marlies Burns), Charter School Director, at (801) 538-7871.

brenda[dot]hales[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(Brenda Hales), Deputy Superintendent, at (801) 538-7515.

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New UCAT Representative Joins State Board of Education

Steven R. Moore was sworn-in as the Utah College of Applied Technology non-voting representative on the Utah State Board of Education. Moore is a division manager for Barnes Aerospace and represents the Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College on the UCAT Board of Trustees. State Board of Education members serve as non-voting members of both UCAT and the Utah State Board of Regents as both UCAT trustees and regents serve as non-voting members of the Utah State Board of Education.

For Additional Information

emilie[dot]wheeler[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(Emilie Wheeler), Board Communications Specialist, at (801) 538-7512.

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Board Approves Consent Calendar

The Utah State Board of Education approved the consent calendar.

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