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Conservatives win big on education during the 2021 Idaho legislative session

Conservatives win big on education during the 2021 Idaho legislative session

Wayne Hoffman
May 6, 2021

If there’s one thing to remember from the 2021 legislative session, it’s that the Idaho Legislature became the first legislative body in the country to successfully push back against the Marxist indoctrination happening in primary, secondary, and higher education. 

The Legislature rejected a $6 million federal grant for pre-kindergarten, a grant that would have given the Biden administration direct control over the education of babies and toddlers. It also would have given significant power to the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children and its openly leftist national umbrella organization, the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

The Legislature also passed a bill, signed grudgingly by Gov. Brad Little, to prevent teachers in our K-12 and university system from “compelling students to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere” to racist programs and ideologies that divide students and adults into victims and oppressors according to race and gender. Idaho became the first state in the country to take a stand against the hate mongering that is central to “critical race theory.”

And finally, the Idaho Legislature became the first in the country to start the process of unwinding the Left’s social justice initiatives on college and university campuses. The Legislature voted to cut $2.5 million from the higher education system—the bulk of the cuts targeted Boise State University. That’s a fraction of the money spent on social justice programs, but it’s a start.  

It’s disappointing that the Legislature continues to allow social justice spending to continue at all. It’s also disappointing that the Legislature continues to grant labor unions so much power; the Senate killed a bill that would have given school boards more discretion on whether they engage in negotiations with radical or uncooperative collective bargaining units. 

No progress has been made toward getting rid of Common Core. And state taxpayers will continue to pay for the socialist megaphone that is National Public Radio on the campuses of Boise State and Idaho State University. 

But 2021 marks a turning point. It’s the first time conservative voices took charge of the education debate in the state’s history. The discussion wasn’t just about how much more money taxpayers would be compelled to throw at the education system. 

Real answers were being demanded about the quality of public schooling and whether the government’s obsession with the identity politics of race and gender has been helpful or harmful to young people. University presidents were not just asked about their colleges’ latest research projects or about the football or basketball teams’ latest victories, but about cringe-levels of campus administration activism and what students are learning, particularly at BSU and the University of Idaho. 

Special thanks goes to Reps. Ron Nate and Priscilla Giddings, who kept the pressure on, even when their colleagues on the legislative budget committee were willing to give in or do nothing. And kudos to Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, who has launched a task force to investigate complaints about indoctrination happening in our public elementary, middle, and high schools.  

In January, I wrote that education has to be lawmakers’ number one priority. And I wrote that the discussion needs to be focused on more than just money: “We can do nothing and hope that future generations of Americans will be passionate defenders of liberty, or we can attack the problem at its source. Idaho is one of the few states in the country where this work can get done.”

And they did. There’s more work to do, but this is just the beginning. Idaho is providing a roadmap for other states to follow, and it just might be the leadership that helps save the country from extremism.

View Comments
  • Thanks IFF. A good start but a follow through is needed. CRT and social justice are fundamentally racist because the premise of their argument divides people by skin color and not their character.

    • Citizen Cartier says:

      US Constitution’s Preamble purposely doesn’t mention race or ethnicity. Instead, it was written with the notion that we are all equally created under Divinity and would treat everyone as such.

  • Bee says:

    Where the hell is
    Gov. Brad LITTLE 'r'???
    FLA, TN,.and now OK are standing up for their people and banning ''CRT.''
    Where the HELL is Little?

    👉"too little too late...as usual.''


  • Janice says:

    It’s a start! Thank you for fighting this immoral “education”, Rep. Nate and Giddings as well as our Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin! We need to protect our children and grandchildren from that which strikes at the very heart of Christian beliefs. That is the agenda in a nutshell. Very sad that Idaho would be on board with this, or any state for that matter! Our children are our most prized possession! In the light of eternity, this is a most important battle. I’m sorry that Gov. Little isn’t in total agreement.

    • Ryan says:

      What is said is that while the GOP, IFF, and all of their weak-mknded followers want to scream from the mountain tops that "this isn't the Christian way" and "our children are the future", the only thing you all really care about is power. Power to dictate unfounded truths. Power to claim that you were "wronged" and you deserve justice. Even if you disagree with all of what I have said, I dare you to disagree with this. Idaho has been a red state for how long? And yet you want to blame everyone else for the failures you, the GOP, have had control over for years. So at this point, nobody wants to hear the noise coming from your faces.

      • CAD says:

        Open your eyes Democrat ran cities are the worst. Boise is turning into a blue sewer. GOP can help but Blue are Power hungry Commies now. How do you like them gas prices?

        • Ryan Scott says:

          Your rebuttal is to call out gas prices? Seriously? That's your argument to how the Republicans can't take their heads out of their a**. Thanks for making my point.

          Republicans: "We need to fix problem "X" because it's not God's will".

          Democrats: "Here is what's wrong with your plan to fix problem "X"."

          Republicans: "crap, your right. Let's change the subject."

  • Rachel says:

    So exciting! Thank you for helping us be informed. Can't wait for the next step.

  • Carol Menges says:

    Keep it up, Representatives Ron Nate, Priscilla Giddings, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, Representatives Heather Scott and Dorothy Moon! There are a few others too; but these five named essential representatives will take the heat repeatedly and not back down! Thank you all for your courage!

    I wish courageous Senator Christy Zito had more serious help among the senators. She will not play the political games in the swamp, as too many otherwise conservatives are doing. "But that's how the game is played", as one said to Rep. Nate. Bad choices, senators and representatives, "leadership" of all kinds! We're fed up with you, and future coming elections with prove it!

  • Dan Foreman says:

    Thank you for your efforts Wayne. It is very nice to see a victory in education for a change. We struck a blow against the insidious and harmful effects of liberalism in our post secondary education system, but this must just be the beginning. Idaho is the state best equipped to lead the national charge toward the creation of a sound, moral and correct public education system. Idahoans are simply the best at leading this revolution, and it is time we behave in recognition of this fact. Thank you for your leadership, public voice and hard work.

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