Many people have asked me about the makeup of Utah’s State Board of Education and their responsibilities.
For me, the natural comparison comes from my experience at SkyWest Airlines where I have been employed for almost 40 years. The stockholders of this publicly held corporation elect a board of directors to oversee and direct the corporation, which is much the same as the voters of the State of Utah electing board representatives to the USBE.
In Utah, there are 15 seats which represent 15 different geographical areas of the state. The seat I am campaigning for represents district 15 which includes Iron and Washington Counties. The Utah State Constitution has outlined that the board shall “exercise general control and supervision” over the public education system. In both cases the board members are accountable to those voters who elected them.
Both organizations appoint someone to administer the directives of the board. In a corporation, that is generally a company president or CEO and at the USBE that position is the State Superintendent. Finally, both entities employ a diversified staff that perform the necessary tasks to keep the day to day operations flowing smoothly and provide the executive and board members with the information they will need to make informed decisions.
Some of the responsibilities of the USBE are to set graduation requirements for Utah students, establish requirements for licensing of Utah teachers, and to routinely review and revise the Utah State Curriculum Standards. The board oversees, distributes and audits the education budget as appropriated by the Utah State Legislature.