IEA plans to keep its May endorsements hush-hush

The Idaho Education Association will keep its 2024 endorsements under wraps.

Meanwhile, the IEA’s political arm contributed to only a handful of candidates in April — giving the bulk of its money to a Republican-led group opposing school choice measures.

The teachers’ union has attempted to keep its endorsements confidential in past election cycles. In 2022, the endorsements appeared on a section of the IEA’s website, with a warning: “These endorsements are intended as a resource for IEA members only. Please do not share publicly or on social media.”

This year, no endorsements appear on the IEA’s Political Action Committee for Education web page. And that’s not likely to change, at least not until after the May 21 primary.

“We haven’t completed 2024 endorsements yet,” IEA spokesman Mike Journee said in an email Monday. “(And) we will not be making primary endorsements public beyond our members and the candidates themselves this year.”

PACE did contribute to four legislative candidates in April, however, and those are a matter of public record:

  • Marisa Keith, a Boise Republican, received a maximum $1,000 donation. She is opposing House Majority Leader Jason Monks, R-Meridian, in the primary.
  • Caldwell Republican Sarah Chaney received a $500 donation. Chaney and Caldwell Republican Lucas Cayler are squaring off in an open House primary.
  • Two Boise Democrats, Sen. Rick Just and House candidate Megan Egbert, received $500 apiece. Both are unopposed in this month’s primary.

PACE previously contributed $500 to Senate Education Committee Chairman Dave Lent, R-Idaho Falls. Lent faces Idaho Falls Republican Bryan Scholz in the May primary.

In April, PACE also contributed $50,000 to Right 2 Learn, a Republican-led group that says it will support candidates who oppose vouchers, or other spending plans that move public dollars into private education.

“We started Right 2 Learn because out-of-state special interests are targeting Idaho with taxpayer-subsidized private school voucher schemes,” committee chair Kerry Ellen Elliott and treasurer Teresa Fabricius say on Right 2 Learn’s website.

The group has raised at least $100,000 since April. As of Tuesday morning, it has reported no spending activity.

Get more information about the candidates at our online voter guide.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday