UPDATED: IEA revokes endorsement of Hill

(UPDATED, 8:51 a.m., April 8, with statement from Hill.)

The state’s teachers’ union has revoked its 2022 endorsement of a sitting legislator.

Rep. Ted Hill, R-Eagle

But the Idaho Education Association’s decision, announced Thursday, might have limited impact. The lawmaker in question, first-term Rep. Ted Hill, R-Eagle, is unopposed in this year’s GOP primary and general election.

Since his election in 2022, Hill has supported or co-sponsored several bills “that ran directly counter to IEA members’ pro-public education policy priorities and IEA member interests,” the union said in a news release Thursday:

  • Hill sponsored a bill to allow school employees to carry a firearm to school, with an enhanced concealed carry permit. It passed the House this year but stalled in the Senate.
  • Hill sponsored several bills “ that impact Idaho’s LGBTQ+ community,” without collaborating with the community. One bill would forbid schools from requiring their employees to use pronouns that do not align with an individual’s gender at birth. That bill is on Gov. Brad Little’s desk.
  • Hill voted for bills to siphon public dollars into private schools; forbid public subsidies of teachers’ unions; and subject school and public libraries to possible fines over materials deemed harmful to minors.

In a letter, IEA President Layne McInelly said Hill is “free to participate in future endorsement processes or meet with educators to help explain your votes and actions.”

In a statement emailed to Idaho EdNews Sunday, Hill said he had no misgivings.

“The IEA’s position does not align with my constituents or with the majority of Idahoans,” he said. “The compelled speech bill was specifically to protect teachers from having their First Amendment rights denied. The teachers I speak to feel that the IEA does not represent them or protect them but are more likely to appease special interests.”

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]

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