Senate Education Chairman Dave Lent of Idaho Falls has repeatedly rejected attempts this week by the conservative senators of his committee to introduce their universal education choice bill. The Idaho Freedom Foundation and Idaho Freedom Action strongly condemned this blatant obstructionism.
“Dave Lent is a phony who gives lip service to education choice while doing the bidding of the radical, leftist union bosses,” IFF/IFA president Wayne Hoffman said Wednesday.
“The record regarding Idaho’s government-run schools is clear: In too many cases, our kids are stuck in schools that are not teaching them to read, write, do math, or understand history at a basic level. Instead of getting the best education available to them, our kids are getting brainwashed into believing wokeism. Now, in blocking the education freedom bill, Lent is signaling he wants the leftist indoctrination and general mediocrity to continue,” Hoffman said.
The Education Freedom Act, sponsored by Sen. Tammy Nichols of Middleton, would establish an education savings account for all K-12 students in the state of Idaho. Each student would have access to an amount equaling 80% of the current statewide average cost per student, which comes to just under $6,000 this year. This money could be used to pay for a slate of eligible expenses including private school tuition, curricula, tutoring, and other educational materials.
While other state legislatures like Utah and Iowa are advancing education choice, Lent is sitting on his hands. “Dave Lent is using his power as Senate Education Chairman to block education freedom, and Idahoans have every right to be angry about that,” said Hoffman.
Hoffman also noted that on Tuesday, Lent blocked members of his committee from delving into the woke social justice programs on Idaho’s college and university campuses. Sen. Scott Herndon tried to ask questions of University of Idaho President Scott Green, but Lent shut him down despite Herndon’s objections.
“The Senate Education Committee has a majority that wants to hold the education system accountable. The majority wants to push conservative legislation,” Hoffman said. “The only thing standing in the way of that is Dave Lent.”
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