As a member of the Idaho Education Association and your local affiliate, you are a critical part of the most influential and important force working to create a public education system your students and colleagues deserve.
On Nov. 7, that influence was on full display all across the state as pro-public education candidates won seats on local school boards.
Endorsements from your local education associations — made possible through members’ participation in IEA’s Political Action Committee for Education or PACE — was the difference in many of those races. Seven out of every 10 candidates endorsed by local education associations won their race on Tuesday — an impressive ratio that proves the importance of engagement in these local elections.
Frankly, the fact that we now celebrate the wins of pro-public education candidates in school board elections is astonishing. However, the enemies of public education are determined to undermine this great, equalizing institution in any way possible. Increasingly, that includes stacking school boards with those determined to tear the system down, rather than build it up.
Tuesday’s results show that Idaho Education Association members are a bulwark against the enemies of public education — from West Ada and Caldwell to Idaho Falls and up to Coeur d’Alene and West Bonner. And your union is working to expand the work of PACE to be an even more powerful ally in your local elections, because they matter!
Our union is non-partisan, but there is no question that your work, from bell to bell, is political. Everything you do, from the hours you work to what you teach, is determined by elected officials. Engaging in politics is essential for protecting your students and your profession from those who want public education to go away.
Thank you for everything you do for your students, Idaho public education and the IEA.
Peggy Hoy is co-chair of IEA’s Government Relations/Political Action Committee for Education committee. She serves on IEA’s board of directors and on IEA’s budget committee. She’s been public school educator for 32 years and is currently a middle school instructional coach in the Twin Falls School District.