I have a quote from John Wooden on my bulletin board at the Capitol:
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
In politics, what others think you are is sometimes defined by what the media says you are.
But few citizens have the time to read bills, listen to debate or look at voting records for the full picture.
So regardless of what you may have read or heard, here is why I voted against a public school budget bill for the first time ever.
I want to see public schools be a place free from discrimination or where one-sided, politicized curriculum is coerced on children’s impressionable minds.
Many Representatives who voted no did so because they also want to preserve local control, not the opposite, and certainly not to punish teachers.
Wrote one teacher, “I’m so glad that the House of Representatives voted nay on this bill and I’m very thankful for the Representatives that stood up for the teachers. As a teacher, I don’t want to be forced into being indoctrinated or to indoctrinate children. So, please write the intent language well, so professional development money can’t be spent on indoctrination. It may not be in every grade, or every school, or every district, but it is real and turning a blind eye to it isn’t going to make it go away.”
You may not have seen that teacher’s viewpoint reflected in the reporting on this issue.
Parents in Idaho Falls had conversations with me prior to session expressing their concerns about bias in the classroom.
President Biden has already issued executive orders that reach all the way down into Idaho universities and school classrooms. And he’s planning more. A National Review article is headlined “Biden set to Push Critical Race Theory on U.S. Schools.” The first sentence reads, “The woke revolution in the classroom is about to go federal.”
If President Biden is willing to set aside the Second Amendment, he is willing to set aside the First or the Tenth or any part of the Constitution. Further, the Democratic party is planning to introduce legislation to pack the Supreme Court so the President can appoint four more liberal justices and have no check on their power.
These collective concerns left me no choice but to fight to preserve local control for Idaho’s public schools, teachers and parents in a way I never anticipated. I felt this step of rejecting the budget until appropriate statewide policy was in place to fight against this extraordinary and rapidly evolving federal takeover of our local schools was necessary.
S1205 protects Idaho against federal overreach in gun law. H322 also protects Idaho against federal overreach. New state education and fiscal policy (H377) is necessary to protect our teachers and children too.
I sustain and honor the law, but I also hold the sacred duty to change it in Idaho. It is not a responsibility I take lightly. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.