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Not exactly secret confirmations of the IEA election

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Not exactly secret confirmations of the IEA election

Screenshot from the Idaho Education Association website.

The Idaho Education Association’s approvals are hidden from view.

They appear on section of the Teachers’ Union web page, with a warning. “These confirmations are intended only for IEA members,” the website said. “Please do not share publicly or on social media.”

Not very secret confirmations open a window into the political calculations of the union, heading to the key national elections and after the legislative session, which gave an increase in the budget of K-12 by 11%.

IEA again supports Governor Brad Little – who convinced the 2022 legislature increase teachers ’salaries, give $ 1,000 in bonuses to school staff and invest more than $ 100 million in current money in employee payments. But the IEA did not support the head of state, Gray Ibaru, the current two-term incumbent who supported Little’s initiatives to fund education, or any of her main Republican opponents. And the IEA has supported several incumbent lawmakers, including Senate Education Committee Chairman Stephen Thein.

Supervisor approval

By and large, the Education Policy Action Committee (PACE) of the IEA has approved Republican candidates to face the primaries next week. IEA President Lane McKinelly says this reflects the fact that a majority of voting members, as well as a majority of Idaho residents who vote, will vote in Republican primaries.

The emphasis on primary approval is also in line with a number of other Idaho groups that have remained true to the ideological line next week sharply divided the Republican primaries.

But PACE approvals have deviated slightly from party orders. In the races of the head of state, for example, The PACE supported Terry Gilbertthe former president of the IEA participated in the primaries from the Democratic Party without opposition.

“Terry opposes school voucher schemes and believes that schools should be better provided with resources through funding, institutional support and program support,” PACE said, explaining its choice.

Criticism of the union of the three Republicans ranged from weakly critical to sharply critical.

  • The IEA has recognized that it has worked with Ybarra staff “to achieve great things for faculty and students”, and recognizes Ybarra’s experience as a former teacher. “At the same time, as they say, the IEA has high standards for educational progress, and the last two terms of Ybarra’s position did not meet the high standards required for IEA approval in this race.”
  • The IEA has reaffirmed Critchfield’s credentials as a “candidate for public education” based on her work with the Cassia County School District and the State Board of Education. But Critchfield stated that it is open to funding school selection programs – provided that they do not come from K-12 or rural schools. “The IEA has failed to approve the candidacy (Critchfield) because of its position on school vouchers, which, while nuanced, is a red line in the sand for professional community educators.”
  • The PACE has harshly accused Derst, a former Democratic MP a tough campaign is now underway. Durst has been a critic of Idaho’s public education system, using unsubstantiated allegations of “indoctrination” to contribute to the deprivation of public schools. He regularly attacks and undermines Idaho teachers, and his personal behavior in these conversations, whether with Idaho lawmakers or ordinary residents, has dissuaded him from considering IEA approval. ”
Terry Gilbert

In a press release Wednesday, Gilbert said he was “honored and humiliated.” “The IEA is doing a great job of advocating for public education, and their support means the whole world to me.”

Other nationwide races

The PACE approved a centrist Republican staff elsewhere at the top of the ticket.

A little one who deserved the support of the IEA in the 2018 general electionsagain receives union approval.

The PACE approved House Speaker Scott Bedke in the race for Lieutenant Governor, Acting Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Hell County Clerk Phil McGrain in the race for Secretary of State.

Legislative approvals

The support of the PACE State Council severely damaged the reputation of the Republican Party: the union supported 42 Republicans to seven Democrats.

In several primaries, PACE has supported Republicans on key committees such as Senator Jim Woodward of Segal and Carl Crabtree of Grangeville, members of the Senate Education Committee and the Joint Financial Appropriations Committee; Rep. Scott Sime of Wilder, a JFAC member who faces House of Representatives committee member Judy Boyle of Midway Education; representative Paul Amador of the Coeur d’Alene, another JFAC member; and Lori McCann of Lewiston, a member of the House of Education.

The PACE also approved several potential changes:

  • In a battle involving two incumbent Senate leaders who participated in the same race due to redirects, the PACE approved Senator S. Scott Grove of Eagle as Senate Chair of Education Stephen Thein of Emmett. (Another fold of this approval: the PACE approved House of Representatives Speaker for Education Lance Clow of Twin Falls, though he doesn’t mind.)
  • The PACE has approved former Member of Parliament Britt Reibuld of Rexburg in a high-profile rematch of the Republican Party with MP Ron Nate of Rexburg, a supporter of the JFAC budget line.
  • PACE supports former Idaho Falls MP Jeff Thompson of Idaho Falls for Barbara Ehardt, a Republican of Idaho Falls and a member of the House of Representatives on education.

We need to have good candidates on the ballot »

Most special interest groups are from the Idaho Freedom Foundation, which is part of Idaho Idaho Freedom PAC office Bring back Idahoa tolerant republican group created as the Freedom Foundation foil to go public with their support.

Lane McKinley

But the IEA argues that PACE approvals ultimately belong to candidates who receive support from the union – after completing a questionnaire and interview. Applicants must decide to quietly accept the approval or “shout it from the rooftops,” McKinelli said.

Although the PACE confirmation is not completely confidential – whether they are online or not. The choice is still up to teachers across the state. “We use this to train our members,” McKinley said.

And while the approval process hasn’t changed from previous election cycles, IEA spokesman Mike Journey says rates are higher this time after a successful 2022 legislative session for the K-12.

“We need to have good candidates on the ballot,” he said, “to continue this momentum for education.”

Kevin Richard

About Kevin Richard

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent visitor to KIVI 6 On Your Side; Idaho Reports on Idaho Public Television; and “Idaho Matters” on State Public Radio Boise. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. You can contact him at [email protected]

Read more of Kevin Richard’s stories »

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