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EDUCATION UPDATES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY

March 3, 2021

TL;DR

Updates on Education

Some exciting things have happened in the Idaho education world over the past day and I wanted to give you a quick rundown of everything. I know my emails tend to have more of a long-form style about them so I’m going to *try* and shake things up a bit and keep the words to a minimum. UPDATE: after finishing this email it is confirmed that I *still* can't make this short and sweet. Sorry. ;)
 

Full-Day Kindergarten 

The CDA School Board voted IN FAVOR of opening up free full-time Kindergarten for all elementary schools. Currently free full-time classes is only available at Borah, Bryan, Fernan, Winton, Northwest Expedition. There is a tuition-based program for full-day kindergarten at the other schools: Hayden Meadows, Atlas, Dalton, Ramsey, Skyway, Sorensen.
 
According to last week’s special meeting, cost is based on historical data of kinders, projected # of kinders, projected class sizes, and current teachers. CDA District will need 14 additional classes/teachers to bring free full-time kindergarten to the last 5 elementary schools.

  • Salary + Benefits for 14 teachers: $951,776.00
  • One-time Classroom Materials for 14: $167,373.78
  • Art/Music/PE Specialist: $122,371.20
  • Prep (Tech + Library): $8,138.34
  • Classroom Aides: $127,935.00
  • Total New Costs: $1,377,594.32 minus Addt’l State Funding: $305,500.00
  • Total Net Cost: $1,072,094.32

 

Vote NO on School Levy, March 9th

This additional cost is a great lead in for my weekly reminder to vote NO on the upcoming levy next week. Early voting is already happening so head down to your county elections office and vote now. The Kootenai County elections office is down on 3rd St, open M-F, 8-5pm. This Friday, March 5th is the last day to vote early. I voted early to leave next Tuesday open to do other things, like hold signs on street corners reminding everyone to vote. If you’d like to help me, please let me know and I’ll put you in contact with the coordinator.


Also, there’s been some strategic educational movement trying to take place in the legislator that have some updates.
 

House Bill 249 – Human Sexuality, Instruction

House bill 249, brought forth by patriot Rep. Barbara Ehardt, keeps parents in the loop whenever the discussion around sexual education happens in the classroom. This ensures parents opting IN, signing a permission slip to allow their children to be in these sex ed discussions, instead of opting OUT, students WILL go through class sex ed discussions unless the parent signs a permission slip. This puts the responsibility for the sex ed discussions back into the parents’ court which is where it should be at all times anyway.
 
This bill went through the House Education committee yesterday for discussion and testimony, and it was disgusting how many teenagers were lined up to testify about how this bill would take away VITAL sex education and open teenagers up for abortions, learning about sex from their friends, yadda yadda yadda. It was exactly like Karen England had mentioned in her Sex Ed in the Classroom presentation a few weeks ago: progressive groups making their way to the high schools and organizing teenagers to rally AGAINST parents and sanity. These teenagers yesterday had ALL the same messaging points in the same order although the wording was changed up a bit for each testimony. Watching these kids in real-time made me scared for the future of our Idaho education system, turning into something out of Washington or California *could* be closer on the horizon if we don’t fight against it now. That means going to school board meetings, being an activist against the current school district pathways, and getting the word out to families, friends, and neighbors about what’s really going on.
 
Fighting against the education system also means that we need to start signing up for testimony during legislature committee meetings and giving them our opinion about why we are for or against the bill. The other side is already doing it (and doing it well) and we need to start playing that game. After listening to these teenagers yesterday I signed up to testify myself but I did it too late and didn’t have a chance to get an opportunity to tell the lawmakers how I felt. Luckily, the bill passed in committee 13-3 so it will be placed on the calendar to be voted on the House floor *maybe* by next week. Keep this one in your sights, and email your representatives so let them know your thoughts.
 
Here’s my testimony I would have given if there was time:

 

House Bill 226 – Appropriations, Board of Education

This bill. Oh this bill. This is a bill, sponsored by MY district rep. Paul Amador, that would give $5.9M to a “non-profit” organization through the Board of Education to bring in social justice ideology- and color race theory-focused curriculum to our kindergartners. All in the name “early childhood education development.” Glorious district 7 rep. Priscilla Giddings made a fantastic speech against this bill and, with another fantastic speech from district 11 rep. Tammy Nichols, rallied enough support amongst the troops to squeak by a NO vote to make the bill fail. Paul Amador seems to always be on the OPPOSITE side of our more conservative legislators. Same goes with other district 4 rep. Jim Addis, yet they still supposedly have Rs next to their names.
 
Here’s the overall vote on HB226:

 

Idaho Freedom Index

Finally, we are in the final month of the 2021 legislative session and Idaho still seems to be under a statewide emergency order. Hmmmm…. NOT what we were promised after the special session last August. If you’re just as miffed as I am with our Idaho lawmakers, but don’t know how our specific district reps have voted, I have the website for you. Idaho Freedom Foundation has spent many years holding our lawmakers to the fire and they have a fabulous index to call out everyone and how they voted. The Idaho Freedom Index is compiled in real-time about how our Idaho lawmakers vote on bills, and it reminds me a lot of the John Birch Society’s Freedom Index compiled on our federal lawmakers. I *highly* recommend everyone check it out and really understand which one of your specific representatives are working for YOU.
 
Want to know how Kootenai County reps are voting?



 

Kootenai County Town Hall, March 13th

Finally, we have a chance to call out our reps before the end of the session. The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee is sponsoring another town hall, March 13th at 10am, at Shepherd of the Hills Church in Rathdrum. This will be another chance to ask our reps the hard questions surrounding this year’s legislative session. Personally, I’m hoping that harder questions will be asked of our reps, last time I feel they were thrown softball questions and got to skate around the important topics.
 
We want to show our reps that We the People are engaged and really paying attention to what they’re doing. Last month we got over 400 people in attendance, let’s try for even more this time! Hope to see you there!

 
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