Ybarra, Wilson win in Idaho primary for schools chief seat

May 16, 2018

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra will battle Democrat Cindy Wilson in the upcoming November general election.

Ybarra and Wilson became the top political nominees for the schools chief position after winning Tuesday’s primary.

Ybarra is seeking to secure a second term in the four-year spot. She faced Jeff Dillon, a Wilder school superintendent, in the GOP primary. However, the two had few policy differences throughout the campaign, with the two both emphasizing local control for schools and improving reading and graduation rates across the state.

Ybarra spent 17 years as a teacher, district administrator and curriculum director for the Mountain Home School District before seeking higher political office.

Wilson, a Boise school teacher, was appointed by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter to the Idaho Board of Correction in 2015. She was also part of Otter’s education task force that sought improve the state’s public school system — which resulted in a five-year plan to boost teacher pay.

She is a longtime American government teacher who has taught in Boise, Orofino and Pierce.

Wilson won against Allen Humble of Boise, whose campaign flew mainly under the radar.

Whoever wins the race in November will be in charge of implementing the final stages of the teacher pay plan and be a key leader in deciding what to do after.

The position requires overseeing the state’s public school system. The superintendent of public instruction also serves on the five-member Idaho Land Board, which oversees 2.5 million acres of land to benefit state public schools.

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