In March, Accuracy in Media released an undercover video that caught Idaho school administrators on camera saying that they’re still teaching Critical Race Theory even though it has been outlawed in the state.
Telling the education bureaucracy what to do – whether we call that the school districts or the teachers’ unions – doesn’t work. Tell them not to teach Critical Race Theory (or, to be more accurate, use the structure of that theory to teach American history and today’s society) and they’ll just carry on but call it Social and Emotional Learning. Tell them not to do that, and they’ll rename the same old stuff something different.
A lot has happened since the AIM investigation was released. The video itself has had more than 500,000 views, many of which were from Idahoans, and it has had a notable effect in the push for school choice in Idaho.
The specific issue actually potentially up for a vote in the Idaho legislature was the Hope and Opportunity scholarships (H669), which would have been a very limited expansion of choice for a few. That didn’t pass simply because the House Education Committee didn’t even let it move to the floor. The holdup was thanks to a few members of the Idaho legislature who were not willing to stand up for school choice.
The House has seen a switch in which conservatives are serving. The Senate, however, has seen a solid core – getting on for a likely 30% to 35% of that chamber from a previous 6% or 7% – of conservatives likely to take their seats.
The next session of the Idaho legislature has a good chance of actually passing proper and full school choice. It’s not a done deal, but it’s a possibility as long as the pressure is kept on that legislature.