The Idaho Supreme Court has sided with the Legislature and the State Board of Education in a budget tug-of-war with state superintendent Sherri Ybarra.
In a unanimous 5-0 ruling Monday, justices said the Legislature followed the Constitution this year when it transferred 18 IT and data management jobs at $2.7 million from Ybarra’s State Department of Education to the State Board.
“Contrary to the allegations of the superintendent, the Legislature has not gutted the department nor has she lost her entire IT department,” said Justice Gregory Moeller, writing for the court. “Rather, the Legislature has shifted the bulk of the Technology Group’s funding and positions to the central educational policy maker in the state —the Board — which can now directly access the information to set policy and provide ‘general supervision’ of the state’s public schools.”
The ruling settles a power struggle that began in March, when the Legislature approved the budget shift. And it means the transfer of jobs and dollars will go into effect on July 1.