Category Archives: Uncategorized

Democrats Have Financial Edge in Supt. Election Fundraising

Cindy Wilson. Boise School teacher seeking Democratic nomination

In a surprising twist, Idaho’s Secretary of State reported today that Idaho’s Democratic challenger for Superintendent of Public Instruction, Cindi Wilson has a substantial edge over her GOP opponents.

Continue reading

El Chapo’s Gem State Money Laundering School Voucher Bill

By Levi Cavener

Cavener_Levi_HeadshotYou wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that Rep. John Vander Woude, R-Nampa, had tutilege from a drug cartel’s money launderer while he was drafting the school voucher bill passed by Idaho’s house last week.  A cursory read of the legislation makes it painfully obvious what the proposed law really is: a money laundering scheme.

The goal of money laundering, of course, is to conceal the origin of dollars.  Except, in this case, the origin of the money is painfully obvious and the purpose of the legislation is also equally so.  See, here’s the deal: Article Nine, Section Five of Idaho’s Constitution makes it abundantly clear that the state cannot distribute money to sectarian entities. Continue reading

Ybarra vs Dillon Campaign Finance Disclosures Fuels Speculation, Unknowns

Today was the due date for candidates’ 2017 annual election finance disclosure reports.

View Ybarra’s Return

View Dillon’s Return

And while at first glance there does not appear to be anything too juicy, the absence of some items is the real story.

Continue reading

Wanted: Jeff Dillon’s Campaign

Wilder Supt. Dillon

You couldn’t blame even a well informed Idaho primary voter for failing to know that Idaho’s incumbent for the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has a primary challenge this spring.

Jeff Dillon, Superintendent of Wilder School District, is running against State Superintendent Ybarra in the GOP primary. Or at least that’s what the Secretary of State says. Continue reading

2018 Legislature Education Committee Contact List

The Idaho Legislature’s website makes it inconvenient to locate and message individual members of the education committees by requiring you to navigate to each member’s bio for the address.

Fortunately for you, I have compiled the list for you to use during the session.  You’re welcome!

Continue reading

Why Pre-K Won’t Happen in Idaho

The Association of Education for Young Children published a new poll last week that leaves no doubt as to where Idahoans stand, in principle, to providing Pre-K services for Idaho’s children.

A summary: eighty percent of parents who have children five and younger support state supported Pre-K, and sixty-six percent of all surveyed registered voters, regardless of having young children, also support the idea.

In other words, it would seem that even in the conservative Gem State that Pre-K is not a toxic cocktail to discuss at the statehouse. Continue reading

Time for Idaho to Act on its Special Education Problem

 

As a parting gift before the new year, the Idaho Board of Education released a painfully grim picture for teacher recruitment and retention in its ironically named “Teacher Pipeline Report.”

That report details a current a woefully inadequate current mechanism to attract and retain qualified teachers in the Gem State that is anything but a pipeline delivering the necessary flow of new talent.

A few takeaways:  One third of newly certified teachers in Idaho leave to teach in greener pastures outside Idaho; one in ten current Idaho teachers will call this year their last–much higher than the national average; of teachers quitting, three out of four are doing so before retirement age. Continue reading