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Speculation on education bill is pure fiction

| May 25, 2023 1:00 AM

My wife asked me this morning if I believe there is much corruption in government. The definition of corruption includes dishonest proceedings, moral depravity and a perversion of integrity.

A recent letter in the Daily Bee provided my answer. The key focus of the letter is me and a mailer sent by a group not related to me and not coordinated with me. Throughout the entire letter, the writer asserts the mailer was mine and suggests it was entirely coordinated by me.

The writer identified copy on the mailer, “A Simpler Transfer Process," and asserted that is “code” for “socialism for private schools.”

Did I secretly coordinate a mailer recently with an outside group that involves an effort to enact taxpayer funded socialism for private schools? No. In representing District 1 in the Idaho Senate, I simply supported a great idea in Senate Bill 1125, which passed the senate unanimously, passed the House 63-5 and was signed into law by Gov. Little.

The bill updates Idaho law to encode what many public school districts are already doing. When the law takes effect July 1, open enrollment will take effect in all public schools in Idaho so that families can more easily send their children to the public school that works best for them.

This is the first comprehensive update to the open enrollment law in 30 years. Current law allows local school districts to opt out of open enrollment altogether, allows districts to charge parents tuition when their child enrolls from other districts, and does not provide parents flexibility as to when and how transfers take place.

After July 1, open enrollment will be uniform throughout Idaho and will enable a process for public school students to enroll in any school in their own district or any school in any other public school district as long as there is space available. Students can apply for transfers at any time of the year. Transfer policies shall prohibit discrimination against any pupil on the basis of his residential address, ability, disability, race, ethnicity, sex or socioeconomic status. Open enrollment policies will be posted on each school district's website.

The transfer process is literally simplified by the bill, and every public school in Idaho becomes an option for every student, regardless of where they live.

This is a great idea for public school students in Idaho, so I supported it and voted for it. Did I coordinate sending a mailer about it? No. Did I mastermind a plot through SB 1125 to enact socialism through private schools? No.

So back to my wife’s question — is there corruption in government? I do know that there are letter writers to local papers that stoke the idea of corruption and deceit but really just have wild speculations and imaginations and can create pure fiction out of simple facts.

SEN. SCOTT HERNDON

Sandpoint