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Idaho budget writers again give cover to leftism on college and university campuses

Idaho budget writers again give cover to leftism on college and university campuses

Wayne Hoffman
March 9, 2023

While other Republican-controlled states are making moves to contain the leftism incubators that are their public colleges and universities, Idaho lawmakers are gearing up to do the opposite. The Legislature’s budget committee voted Thursday to continue funding woke positions and programs at Boise State University, the University of Idaho, Idaho State University, and Lewis-Clark State College. 

With the exception of just a few legislative budget writers, in particular Sen. Scott Herndon, who presented a conservative budget that too few followed, lawmakers gave a thumbs up to diversity, equity, and inclusion programs at the schools. It was a bi-partisan vote, so the news media will love it. Republican and Democrat budget writers also voted down a motion to defund the taxpayer-funded portion of National Public Radio affiliates at Boise State and Idaho State.

That’s not to say that lawmakers did nothing, but they came about as close to nothing as humanly possible: They issued a directive that “the college and universities shall verify no state appropriated funds are used to support diversity, equity, inclusion, or social justice ideology as part of any student activities, clubs, events, or organizations on campus.” 

That sounds fantastic until you consider that the Legislature is expected to appropriate $678.6 million to the schools next year, which has historically been about 42% of the approximately $1.6 billion the schools will spend on funds from all sources. Diversity, equity, and inclusion staff funded by Micron Technology, an example given by the college presidents, would still be funded. It’s a giant loophole, meant to be exploited while giving phony “conservatives” a chance to brag to constituents that they did something. 

Moreover, given the fact that the colleges and universities previously ignored a directive from the 2021 Legislature not to spend money on social justice programs, one would expect the same result this time. 

The House or the Senate could still reject the budget. They should do so and hold out for a real one. This wouldn’t be the least bit weird, either. Other states have already taken steps to reduce or eliminate spending on diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and staff. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been leading the charge to rid his state’s schools of entrenched wokeism.  

In Iowa, lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban all funds — public or private — from being spent on diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and staff in that state’s higher education system. 

In Georgia, lawmakers want to end discriminatory statements as part of college hiring practices.

What is Idaho doing? Very little, except protecting the education indoctrination efforts that have destroyed other states and threaten Idaho. 

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