|Legislators ranked on key education issues
Idaho Business for Education (IBE) last week released its Annual Legislative Scorecard which rates legislators on how they voted on key education issues in the 2022 session.
IBE graded the legislators on five bills: House Bill 776, the higher education budget; House Bill 790, the bill which provides for full-day kindergarten and literacy funding; Senate Bill 1408 which allows for federal funding for childcare; Senate Bill 1392, the opportunity scholarship for college students; and Senate Bill 1290 which provides student loan forgiveness for rural teachers. Each bill is weighted at 20%.
An “extra credit” bill, House Bill 669 was graded for House Education Committee members. This bill allows for state funding for private schools. If a legislator voted in favor of the bill, they lost 20% from their final grade. The eight who voted to kill the private-school tuition bill received 20 points of “extra credit.”
Fifty-one legislators received at least 100%, while 40 failed the scorecard with a score of 60% or less. Because of their membership on the House Education Committee, seven members received an “extra credit” score of 120%, while conversely, three House Education Committee members ended up with overall below-zero scores based on their vote in favor of state funding for private schools.
“IBE hopes that our Legislative Scorecard can help inform our 252 business leaders and all Idahoans on where their legislators stand on the issues critical to setting our students up for success in school, work and life and creating the highly educated and skilled workforce Idahoans need,” said IBE President and CEO Rod Gramer.
Gramer said developing the workforce Idaho’s employers need is essential to the state’s economic future and the Legislature’s support for education is crucial to creating that workforce.
Gramer said that the fact that 51 legislators scored 100 percent or more shows that there was strong support for education during the 2022 session. At the same time, it is also discouraging that 40 legislators scored so low on these critical education issues, he said.
Among the District 7 legislators, Carl Crabtree and Charlie Shepherd each received an 80% score while Priscilla Giddings received a 0%. Mike Kingsley, who got moved into District 7 through redistricting, also got a 0% score.
Here is a link to the IBE 2022 Legislative Scorecard: https://idahobe.org/legislative-scorecard/
IBE is a non-partisan, non-profit organization of more than 250 businesses and business leaders across Idaho. Its mission is to help create the workforce Idaho’s employers need and set students up for success in school, work, and life.