For those wondering, the state school board wasn't part of the press conference decrying the Legislature's education omnibus bill because they're just trying to get along.

State Board of Education chairman Richard Sadler on Friday noted other groups involved, from principal associations to the Utah Education Association to the superintendents and school boards associations and Utah PTA, may have questioned the education board's obvious absence.

"Members of the public education family who wanted us to be there might not have been happy with us not being there," Sadler said.

"As we talked and wondered what should be the strategy of the state board, I wanted you to know it was my decision we not appear at the conference (because) there had been many things that had passed that had been our priorities, and in keeping with our intent to thank the Legislature, and not continue to be involved in a position that is adversarial."

Legislators and the state school board have clashed over the years, most recently over questions surrounding the voucher law, which ultimately was overturned by voters last November, and a miscount of teachers in line to receive this year's $2,500 raise and $1,000 bonus. Issues of mistrust surfaced during this year's legislative session between the State Office of Education and House Education Committee chairman Greg Hughes, R-Draper, exacerbated with talk of state school trust lands specialist Margaret Bird running against him in November.

Legislators in the last three days of the session, which concluded Wednesday, rolled a dozen bills, some of which had already been voted down, into an omnibus bill attached to the schools' $2.5 billion budget. The omnibus bill eventually passed.

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