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College budget plan is political theater that would allow campus leftism to continue

College budget plan is political theater that would allow campus leftism to continue

Wayne Hoffman
March 5, 2021

Idaho’s legislative budget writers are being dishonest when they say a proposed higher education budget combats the leftist indoctrination happening on college and university campuses. It does not. Not even close.

It is true that the Legislature’s budget committee voted to restrict the use of state funds for social justice. But that prohibition does not preclude the schools from accessing other pools of public money to keep funding such programs, rendering the restriction wholly meaningless. 

RELATED: Tell Idaho legislators to cut funding for social justice programming on Idaho's college campuses: FixIdahoColleges.com

Additionally, lawmakers pathetically voted to cut Boise State University's budget by about $400,000, supposedly to punish the school for its otherwise unflappable fealty to socialist professors and their brainwashed students. But that’s a measly 0.2% of BSU’s $255 million state appropriation and less than a tenth of its total budget of more than $615 million. It’s just a rounding error. 

The fact is that the social justice agenda eats up millions, not thousands, of dollars at Boise State, the University of Idaho, Idaho State University, and Lewis-Clark State College. The most notorious offender of them all is BSU, where students are required to take social justice classes to graduate, the campus radio station is awash in news from left-leaning National Public Radio, the student government constitution was rewritten to promote leftist extremism, and a pro-police coffee shop was run off campus with the tacit support of the school’s administration. 

Lawmakers also know that Boise State isn’t the only problematic campus, but the other schools emerged in the budget proposal unscathed. As previously noted, the University of Idaho is heavy into the social justice game with its blatant Black Lives Matters advocacy. UI even has a pro-gay and lesbian advocacy office. The school features an “implicit bias team” that encourages faculty and students to snitch on each other so that they can be investigated, expelled, or fired for perceived “microaggressions.” 

Even less scrutiny has been given to Idaho State University, where several of ISU’s departments joined the Black Lives advocacy bandwagon, or to Lewis-Clark, which has its own “inclusion and diversity” programming and staff, including a center that instructs professors to include critical race theory into their curriculum. 

The proposed higher education budget amounts to nothing more than “political theater.” It frees lawmakers like Sen. Carl Crabtree, the lead architect of the proposal, to play the role of conquering hero when he returns home to Grangeville, where news of what happens in Boise is sparse. Once there, he’ll get to put on a performance for his constituents about how he “struck a blow against the leftists at BSU.” For their parts, the folks in the four-year schools will cry crocodile tears and howl about how much the cuts hurt, knowing that the budget does nothing to change higher education’s leftist trajectory. 

The Legislature still has a chance to reject the college and university budget, which the House of Representatives did twice in 2020. Doing so again and passing a budget with real cuts and real social justice spending restrictions would not only start the process of repairing the damage to Idaho’s post-secondary institutions, but it would send a message to other states facing similar problems: Left unattended, the indoctrination of America’s college students is a crisis that will lead to our country’s undoing. This is a challenge that the Idaho Legislature and state legislatures across the country have the power and the duty to address.

View Comments
  • Daniel Foreman says:

    Wayne your assessment is accurate. Once again our cowardly senate has offered up a token fix to a serious problem. The social justice agenda being followed by our universities is steeped in communistic ideology, stings the face of the U. S. Constitution, is juxtaposed to traditional American values and is anathema to the beliefs of every American Patriot. So, the operative question is “Why?” Why do we have university administrators who push this harmful leftist rot on our students. And why is our state senate not taking immediate and sweeping action to cut this spreading cancer out of our post-secondary education system? However, the ultimate riddle is why we allow university staff and state senators to remain in office when they respectively generate and/or allow the existence of social justice propaganda that foments racial unrest and breeds contempt for our state and nation. The solution is clear. It is time to completely and realistically (Senator Crabtree) defund all university social justice programs. Secondly, further attempts by university staff at promoting social justice programs should result in employment terminations. And the People of the Great State of Idaho should demand their senators start acting with a little intestinal fortitude in addressing pertinent state issues. With a few pleasant and courageous exceptions, the Idaho State Senate is a roadblock to affirmative action on the key issues facing Idaho - like ending the fake state of emergency. It’s time to grow a backbone and do your job senate! Stop swimming with the Governor and playing politics.

    • James King says:

      Ditto. Need to grow some and start to fight this lefty garbage that’s designed, and will certainly turn Idaho into a California style craphole.

  • Brian Connolly says:

    I'm very disappointed in the legislature for not fully addressing this problem. I can't recommend out state schools to my out of state friends and family now, under these conditions. Idaho used to be a bastion against this type of thing.

  • Bruce Hendricks says:

    Perhaps the ultimate solution is for parents to stop encouraging their kids to go to college; we've been sold on the idea that college is the route to success - for most kids it isn't. Going into debt and spending four years of your life trying to get a worthless degree, where nothing of worth is learned, is a horrible idea. So vote by opting for other routes to sucess. Colleges know one thing - money.

  • It is very simple. Let the Universities know up front that they have 1 year to do away with the social justice programs and coarse requirements or funding for all those positions will be withheld times 2. I would give the money to the football programs at each school where real diversity and inclusion are taught (it's called teamwork)----Does Idaho even have a football team?

  • john nashman says:

    if i had to choose between left wing and what happened Jan. 6 in Washington
    i would take left wing
    i may not right as nicely as some of you but we almost lost our country
    and that is most important to me
    the students are 18 or 19 and can make what they want of what they are being
    in this state we are down the center or a little to the right
    mr wayne is sharp but leans a little to far to the right for me
    but it is interesting to read his interpolation of the facts

    • James King says:

      Sure thing. Jan 6th.....
      How about all summer long, BLM burning and looting with carte blanche by left governors and mayors. Or maybe Portland.. if you prefer that, you need a new country. Go ahead, be a part of the left.., the fight
      Has not begun, although the left started the war a few years ago.

  • E. Wight says:

    The $400,000 in question isn't just less than one tenth of 615 million, it's less than one hundredth of that figure. Significantly insignificant.

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