The House Education Committee will take up a private school voucher bill, HB 590, in their Friday meeting, which begins at 8:00 a.m. This legislation could have detrimental effects on public schools, and we urge you to contact your local legislator to let them know you oppose private school vouchers.
HB 590 would set up third party “scholarships” and actively market public school students to entice them to enroll in private and religious schools. The end result would be a diversion of general fund dollars away from public schools that are already strapped for resources. These private and religious schools do not have the same accountability standards as public schools, which welcome all students and provide services and support for children above and beyond academic instruction.
If you are opposed to public tax dollars going to private and religious schools, it is imperative that you make your voice heard regarding HB 590. Click here for more information about private school vouchers and how you can help Protect Idaho’s Public Schools.
The House Education Committee has a full agenda Friday, with several items listed before the voucher bill. Representatives must be on the House floor at 10:00 a.m., so testimony and discussion on HB 590 could be limited. If you are unable to attend Friday’s House Education Committee hearing on this important issue, you can listen to live streaming coverage via Idaho in Session.
Science Standards Enacted in Full Via Senate Education Committee Vote
After three years of discussion, debate, and rewrites, Idaho finally has adopted a new set of science standards, replacing standards that had not been updated since 2001. The Senate Education Committee voted 6-3 in favor of a motion by IEA member Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise, to adopt the standards in full. The new standards were developed by a team of science teachers and curriculum experts, including several IEA members.
The House Education Committee had previously voted to remove one standard and all supporting content from the proposed standards, with all of the excepted material relating to climate change and the impact of humans on the environment. Concurrence between the two committees is not required in this case, so the Senate Education Committee action officially puts the new standards on the books in Idaho.
Yes votes were cast by Senators Ward-Engelking, Buckner-Webb, Crabtree, Guthrie, Nonini, and Winder. No votes were cast by Senators DenHartog, Thayne, and Mortimer. “We had a problem, we called some specialists (science teachers), and we ran it by the public that elected us to be here,” said Crabtree, R-Grangeville. “I believe in this process—it is the process of success.”