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Utah Gov. Gary Herbert on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have created a path for non-educators to become public school administrators.
HB197 would have allowed a local school board to request permission of the state school board to hire a candidate without an administrative license to be a school principal, vice principal or assistant district superintendent.
The bill, sponsored by West Jordan Republican Rep. Kim Coleman, also would have required the state school board to create a policy for awarding administrative licenses to individuals without a background in education.
Coleman said she would continue working with members of the state school board and the state superintendent to solve the concerns that were the impetus of her bill, without legislation.
"I'm confident that they will make the necessary changes internally," she said.
She said the state school board, like any division of government, has the authority to change policies and her bill was not in vain because it opened to the door for those changes.
"It took the bill to make the discussion happen," she said.
Utah Education Association President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh said vetoing the bill was the "right thing to do." She said HB197 would have minimized the role of principals and education leaders.
"Teaching is complex, and the role of a principal is to provide instructional leadership," she said.
Herbert vetoed five bills on Wednesday, the final day for gubernatorial action on bills, including HB197. Another three bills will become law without the governor's signature.
Included among the unsigned bills is SB116, which requires school districts to provide school dropout recovery services or, in some cases, to contract with outside vendors to provide dropout recovery services.
In a prepared statement, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, said senators would be polled for their interest in holding a veto override session. The results of that poll will be announced April 16.
"While we sometimes disagree with the executive branch, we respect the governor's work, and the checks and balances of our constitutional system," he said.
HB197 passed with a 16-12 vote in the Senate and a vote of 42-22 in the House short of the two-thirds majority required for a veto override in both chambers.