Roger Quarles, the second-in-charge at the Idaho State Department of Education had been preparing to represent Idaho at a global education forum in Hong Kong, scheduled for later this month. But he's been told to unpack his bags. A little-known rule at the ISDE, that says employees can't travel internationally on department time, has grounded Quarles.
Idaho Ed News is reporting that Quarles was scheduled to participate with representatives from 10 nations in the Global Partnership Program, brainstorming on such issues as increasing literacy skills in primary schools, improving teacher effectiveness through training and recruitment, and promoting girls' education.
A spokeswoman for ISDE told Idaho Ed's Jennifer Swindell that state officials were "just not able to offer Dr. Quarles' time on this project."
Meanwhile, Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter continues to lead overseas trade missions, accompanied by representatives from the departments of commerce and agriculture. This year alone, those state officials have visited South Korea and Vietnam.