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Prepared by Joshua Palken (April 2, 2024)

So the basics – the Idaho Board of Education (BOE) is an institution set up and mandated by  ARTICLE 9 SECTION 2 of the Idaho Constitution which provides as follows:

“BOARD OF EDUCATION. The general supervision of the state educational institutions and public school system of the state of Idaho, shall be vested in a state board of education, the membership, powers and duties of which shall be prescribed by law.”

That’s all folks! Clear, direct, and everyone can understand what it says. Now to the laws which our Legislature has prescribed under this provision – and these are not clear, direct or easy to understand…

Footnote – the original Idaho Constitution did NOT include the BOE. This was adopted by statewide vote in November 1912. These were the formative years of the present day deep state and the banking cartels. The Federal Reserve was established less than one month later in December 1913 and the Constitutional Amendment 17 – “Direct Election of Senators” was ratified in April, 1913. All three of these events should be REVERSED but that is another story….

First of all there is Idaho Code Title 33 which deals with  all “EDUCATION” issues. It includes no less than 66 Chapters (is one six missing?) Do we really need hundreds of single spaced pages of laws laws laws? I say not, but that’s a different topic….

Chapter One establishes the BOE. So what does this BOE do under the law as written?

According to Section 33-101 the BOE is “…for the general supervision, governance and control of the public school systems…” OK so far…

The BOE “…shall prepare a budget of necessary expenditures of its executive department, and shall have control of all moneys appropriated for said purposes.” OK I THINK that means its own operation NOT including the costs of school operations which are part of the STATE budget, but it doesn’t say so, nor does the law anywhere give the BOE authority to spend or allocate the funds budgeted by the State for education. 

So what does the BOE do? Very good question…. so let’s move on to the main section – I underlined the main parts I intend to discuss…

33-107.  GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE STATE BOARD. The state board shall have power to:

(1)  Perform all duties prescribed for it by the school laws of the state;

(2)  Acquire, hold and dispose of title, rights and interests in real and personal property;

(3)  Have general supervision, through its executive departments and offices, of all entities of public education supported in whole or in part by state funds;

(4)  (a) Delegate to its executive secretary, to its executive officer, or to such other administrators as the board may appoint, such powers as said officers require to carry out and administer the policies, orders and directives of the board;

(b)  Delegate to its executive officer, if necessary to enhance effectiveness and efficiency, such powers as he requires to exercise discretionary authority and to perform duties vested in the state board related to the operation, control and management of Idaho’s state universities and colleges and other agencies under the supervision and governance of the state board, and to perform duties and render decisions prescribed to the state board involving the exercise of judgment and discretion that affect the public schools in Idaho;

(c)  Delegate to the presidents of Idaho’s state universities and colleges, if necessary to enhance effectiveness and efficiency, such powers as said officers require to exercise discretionary authority and to perform duties vested in the state board related to the operation, control and management of Idaho’s state universities and colleges;

(d)  Delegate to its executive secretary, the superintendent of public instruction, if necessary to enhance effectiveness and efficiency, such powers as he requires to perform duties and render decisions prescribed to the state board involving the exercise of judgment and discretion that affect the public schools in Idaho;

(e)  Delegations of powers under this subsection must be adopted as statements of agency action by the state board, as provided in section 33-105(2), Idaho Code, and pursuant to a process that provides for notice, opportunity for input and formal adoption by the state board;

(5)  Through its executive departments and offices:

(a)  Enforce the school laws of the state,

(b)  Study the educational conditions and needs of the state and recommend to the legislature needed changes in existing laws or additional legislation;

(6)  In addition to the powers conferred by chapter 24, title 33, Idaho Code:

(a)  Maintain a register of postsecondary educational institutions approved to provide programs and courses that lead to a degree or which provide, offer and sell degrees in accordance with the procedures established in chapter 24, title 33, Idaho Code,

(b)  Determine whether to accept academic credit at public postsecondary educational institutions in Idaho. Academic credit shall not be transferred into any Idaho public postsecondary institution from a postsecondary educational institution or other entity that is not accredited by an organization recognized by the board,

(c)  Maintain a register of proprietary schools approved to conduct, provide, offer or sell a course or courses of study in accordance with the procedures established in chapter 24, title 33, Idaho Code;

(7)  Prescribe the courses and programs of study to be offered at the public institutions of higher education, after consultation with the presidents of the affected institutions;

(8)  Approve new courses and programs of study to be offered at community colleges organized pursuant to chapter 21, title 33, Idaho Code, when the courses or programs of study are academic in nature and the credits derived therefrom are intended to be transferable to other state institutions of higher education for credit toward a baccalaureate degree, and when the courses or programs of study have been authorized by the board of trustees of the community college.

OMG and this is just one page of one chapter of 66 chapters on EDUCATION alone. That is what I call our law codes a horrible mess – again another topic for later….  Here again is today’s question: WHAT DOES THE IDAHO BOE DO?

Based on the foregoing law I can say this: 

First it does a heck of a lot of DELEGATING… I would like to add “LOL” but it’s too serious because “delegation” is the legal foundation of BUREAUCRACY AND LACK OF TRANSPARECNY OR ACCOUNTABILITY – another whole topic too much for now, but google “Delegation Doctrine” – it’s an eye opener.

Second, the scope of authority is so broad it is impossible to pin down, as cited in the Code above: 

How many lawyers can dance on the head of pin? OMG again this is the legal foundation of BUREAUCRACY AND LACK OF TRANSPARENCY OR ACCOUNTABILITY.

But there are also some clear and specific duties in the Code to contrast and compare.

These are appropriate and clearly defined duties and powers. But there is something very curiously missing… and that is approval of K-12 curriculum… Ahh one must keep reading no matter how bleary eyed… (We called that the “read-on rule” in Law School because the answers always lay hidden elsewhere in the mass of words…)

The K-12 curriculum has its own complex set of rules, and of course this is because that is where the indoctrination begins, and this is a political hot potato. There are three separate Code sections on “curriculum”: Sections 33-118, 33-118(b) and 33-118(c).

I’m not going to repeat in detail what these sections do – but clearly its dealing with a controversial topic and anyone interested in the details can take a look. It does leave me with one huge question and that is: Is the BOE actually in compliance with this law? Based on the comments and complaints aired at public meetings on the levy, I was led to believe that curriculum was a huge problem for local schools. No one contradicted these complaints.

However, given the express duties placed on the BOE by the K-12 curriculum law which the BOE is legally bound to apply and enforce, there can be NO such question. Just look at the code – it clearly and unequivocally assigns a duty of the BOE to:

“…prescribe the minimum courses to be taught in all public elementary and secondary schools, and shall cause to be prepared and issued, such syllabi, study guides and other instructional aids as the board shall from time to time deem necessary.” Section 33-118.

Am I missing something? Or do these “curriculum complaints” refer to something else? This same Code – sub-section 4 – does (subject to another set of rules and procedures…) give local districts the option to create their own curriculum. But one would assume this option would normally apply to only a small portion of the curriculum which a district wanted ON TOP of the (complete?) State formulated and mandated curriculum. 

Any way this is now the LAW works. I have no idea if that is what is occurring in reality. Anyone?????


IMO the biggest obstacle to quality public schools in Idaho is the state Dept of Education itself. It is a massive bureaucracy with little transparency or accountability. YES on paper they are transparent and accountable – but ONLY on paper. In reality it’s impossible and complex and way too vague to enforce anything at all.

In fact the BOE openly ADMITS that they take NO responsibility for education! Yes, you read that right. Here is the official published statement from the BOE website:

“Accountability in the K-12 school system is focused on holdingschool districts, schools, and educators responsible for student results. To ensure our high school graduates are well-prepared for higher education and the workforce, the Idaho State Board of Education sets high expectations for our schools and students.”

So according to the BOE – the agency established by our Constitution to be accountable to the public for all education in the State – is SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND TEACHERS that are responsible! Just think about that – this represents such a massive institutional and bureaucratic HUBRIS (OR I WOULD SAY PUNT) which is“hidden in plain sight”!

And by the way this is the same legal fiction which the Legislature used to defend the school funding in court litigation. The Legislature claimed in court that merely “establishing the system” satisfies their obligation. Once they “delegate” ALL their duties to the School District they say we are OFF THE HOOK. And guess what? Our Idaho Supreme Court rubber stamped this nonsense.

So the BOE (and the federal DOE) PILE on the duties and requirements and laws and policies and funding challenges on to the school districts, delegate (or should we say abandon?) their duties, then expect TEACHERS to succeed, let alone thrive…

And is it any wonder why public schools are wanting for money when EACH AND EVERY school has to hire multiple administrators at premium salaries 3 and 4 times what TEACHERS earn. It is 100% ALICE IN WONDERLAND territory my friends.

The BOE should provide ALL the administrative, legal and budgetary functions which school districts now bear. Think what that would mean.

Lest you need any more proof of the upside down reality of BOE, let me share one more thing I saw on their website which immediately caught my attention. It is linked here.

I cut and pasted the description and this chart and I comment below but first look at it and see if anything stands out:

Board Policies & Rules

The Foundation of Idaho’s Education System

A hierarchy is established to define the levels of precedent for state government documents. To illustrate these various levels, the analogy of a pyramid is useful. Each increasing level becomes smaller in size, yet greater in scope. The Idaho State Constitution defines the legislature. The legislation creating an agency defines and restricts the agency’s authority, which in turn restricts the scope of its rule making powers.

Hierarchy of State Documents

Each increasing level becomes smaller in size:, yet greater in scope.

Ok so did my use of the term – “upside down reality” give you a clue? Yes this chart is up side down – The Constitution is NOT the “eye of the pyramid” although sadly that is what our elected leaders seem to believe and how they act.

NO – the Constitution is the foundation of our government and subject only to the US Constitution which is the supreme law of the land; no law may be passed that contradicts the principles of the Idaho Constitution. 

What this chart shows is the exact opposite and presents the reality and problem facing us now – that is, the foundation of the “deep state” is EXACTLY AS SHOWN in this diagram – the MASS of rules, policies regulations, procedures and written interpretations. That is how WE THE PEOPLE are controlled and how our freedoms are eroded. 

INFORMATION is POWER – read and understand and share this INFORMATION – As 

Article 9 Section 1 of the Idaho Constitution recites: “The stability of a republican form of government depend(s) mainly upon the intelligence of the people.”

Lets all pray for wisdom, guidance, and perseverance in facing the storm….

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