Utah’s public education system: How does it work?
The Utah Constitution mandates that “the Legislature shall provide for the establishment and maintenance of the state’s education systems including: a public education system, which shall be open to all children of the state.” In order to implement the education system that the Legislature establishes, the Constitution also calls for a State Board of Education. The SBOE creates the rules and guidelines that enable local school boards to follow the laws the Legislature passes.
Anyone can file to run for a position on the State School Board, and members are nominally elected by the voters. However, before the voter gets a ballot, a long process occurs to pare down the list of candidates to only two. The process for getting down to the two candidates begins with a Nominating and Recruiting Committee, whose members serve two-year terms and who are chosen by the governor. There are 12 members of the committee, and they look at all the filed candidates, interview them and choose at least three for each board position, and then submit those names to the governor. The governor then chooses the final two names which will appear on the ballot to be voted on by the public.
The state superintendent is appointed by the State School Board. The superintendent oversees the Utah State Office of Education (USOE), which, with over 300 employees and 20 departments, carries out the rules created by the board. Many of the rules governing local school districts require them to submit compliance reports to the USOE, which are then published to the Legislature as well as the public.
Reference: Utah Constitution
Website: Education Policy
Website: Utah State Board of Education
Website: Utah State Office of Education
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