Representative Priscilla Giddings, District 7, has spent the legislative session blocking the budgets of Idaho Public Television, K-12 public schools, Idaho public universities, and a $6,000,000 grant for early childhood education.
Her grounds: any programming that recognizes diversity, or suggests curriculum addressing racial or gender equity.
Giddings represents the far-right Idaho Freedom Foundation, not the people of District 7.
The IFF produced reports on “Social justice ideology in Idaho higher education” and recommended blocking funding for universities with curricula or services that address social justice, an inclusive student body, or contemporary thoughts on equity.
The subjects of racial and gender equity have been concerns in public education from the first public school. Think of Brown vs. the Board of Education and Title IX.
Public education in the United States is for all students, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religious stance, gender, or sexual preference.
Fairness is expected in public education curriculum, in teacher preparation programs, in student support services for public K-12 schools and universities, and in educational television.
I taught in Idaho public schools and universities. My Idaho students were White, along with Mexican American, Shoshone, Bannock, Hopi, Laotian, Cambodian, Serbian, Nez Perce, Asian American, Filipino, African American, Vietnamese, Russian, Bolivian, and people of mixed race.
Diversity enriched the classroom.
ALL Idaho students are important and to be treated with respect. We need curriculum and school services that support fairness.
We need District 7 representatives who understand and care about public education, fairness, and the diverse population of Idaho.