“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” -Deuteronomy 6:6-7
If nothing is more important than the education of our children you would think that voter turnout would be high for school board elections. Sadly it is not. In Idaho before the changes in the calendar of school board elections the turnout was often in single digits. This low turnout is both a threat and an opportunity.
The school district employees and their spouses could often control who got elected. The threat is that a small but committed special interest group can determine the outcome of school board elections and elect board members that advance the groups’ agendas over the best interests of parents, students and the civil society.
The opportunity is that a small but committed groups of believers and conservatives could determine the outcome of school board elections and elect board members that will protect and defend the Biblical worldview, morality, and decency and will return the schools to traditional basic education. This will provide a better outcome for the students and society.
There are many reasons that Christians fail to show up for school board elections. Besides being busy and concentrating on state and national news we fail to see that local control is where it all begins. We can speculate on other reasons:
- My children attend a Christian school or charter.
- My children are homeschooled.
- My children are grown.
All of these excuses ignore the larger reality that the sole reason we have public schools is provide a sufficient education to the public, so that each individual can be a contributing member of the “civil society” with sufficient knowledge of subjects like history, government and economics from a traditional perspective to make sound decisions that will assure the future of our Constitutional Republic. Along with this is the fact that education is one of the largest consumer of our taxes. We have failed in many cases to engage in school board elections and allowed people who do not share our values and beliefs to determine what is being taught. We only have ourselves to blame.
The teacher’s union is one of the most powerful lobbying forces in Idaho and they are constantly clamoring for more money to hire more dues paying members. They are the force for a leftist agenda they promote to their membership on a local, state and national level. Early childhood education down to age four for example. But studies have shown (Dept. of Education) that this has little effect, and in fact Head Start has wasted billions. Idaho class size is not large but we find out that class size has little effect on learning. What we do know is that having a competent teacher in the classroom every day is most important teaching a curriculum that mirrors our values, not theirs.
We will probably have a ballot measure promoted by the leftist group “Reclaim Idaho” up for a vote next year if the out of state money funding is successful. They attempt to put on a guilt trip with statistics that show Idaho and Utah are at the bottom when it comes to per pupil spending for example. Maybe true, maybe not. What is interesting is they show our neighbors like Montana spends 50% and Wyoming 100% more than Idaho spends. Interesting. But when we look at test scores and other measurements both Idaho and Utah do as well or better than these states. More money is not the answer and certainly not more power to the unions and left wing organizations. Here is some homework for each voter besides vetting the candidates. Look up the labor agreement your district has with the teachers- does it promote teachers being in the classroom and what have they given up in terms of decision making regarding curriculum and content?
At least some of the Republican candidates are promoting a voucher system or payment directly to parents to be used for government, charter, private school or homeschooling. The money follows the student. Educate yourself and your delegation to Boise on the proposals and seek reform in education when the legislature meets in January.
Finally, we need to realize that the schools are also a reflection of our society. Half of all children in our area do not live with their biological father. The breakdown of the family is tragic and we need to work together to turn this around. Our entertainment culture is toxic. Most teachers are dedicated and care about the children in their classes. Often they are more social worker than teacher. Citizens, churches and civic groups need to understand the problems they are facing and work together to build a healthier community. Pray for those in education.
Vote November 2nd! James Dobson and Gary Bauer wrote in their book “Children at Risk” that “Children are the prize to the winners of the second great civil war. Those who control what young people are taught and what they experience– what they see, hear, think and believe— will determine the future course of the nation. Given that influence, the predominant value system of an entire culture can be overhauled in one generation, or certainly in two, by those with unlimited access to children!” Vote November 2nd with an informed mind.