For those of you watching the national movement to school choice (money follows the child so parents have a choice where K-12 education occurs) you may want to review this article from the Mountain States Policy Org. The information is for our next door neighbor…Idaho.
A new poll by Boise State University shows public support for increasing education choice options in Idaho. These results are similar to a 2022 poll conducted by MSPC. Here is the question BSU asked:
The wording of this question is interesting. The current refundable tax credit proposal under consideration in Idaho does not remove funding from the K-12 budget. Idaho State Representative Wendy Horman and Idaho State Senator Lori Den Hartog plan to introduce a bill this legislative session that would permit refundable tax credits of up to $5,000 for families to offset the cost of school tuition and other education-related expenses. Because the credit would be refundable, even those who don’t necessarily have a large tax liability would benefit. Rep. Horman and Sen. Den Hartog said the concept would not strip any money from public schools.
It is encouraging that the BSU poll didn’t use the misleading “voucher” phrasing to ask about support for education choice. No one who supports or opposes education choice options or covers the topic should use the term “voucher” unless an actual voucher bill is introduced. Doing so is simply inaccurate and on such an important topic, clarity is crucial.
National polling has consistently shown providing more education choice options to families is popular across party lines and various demographics. This is also true in Idaho. Here are the results from MSPC’s 2022 poll:
We will be updating this statewide poll in December 2024.
Here are some of the other interesting results from the BSU Idaho Public Policy Survey:
Concerning property taxes, we’re encouraging Idaho lawmakers to consider adopting Truth in Taxation to help provide more transparency.
As we previously discussed, there is a big difference between open primaries and ranked choice voting. Moving to a clean open primary is a debate worth having (preferably a Top Two). Adopting open primaries, however, need not be limited to a take-it-or-leave-it proposition tied to the controversy of ranked choice voting.
Interestingly, there is currently an effort moving through the Alaska state legislature to repeal ranked choice voting in that state. There is also a separate repeal measure in the process of being certified for the Alaska ballot.
A voter guide usually provides basic demographic and background information about candidates, generally in their own words, to help voters have a standardized reference for learning more about those seeking office. Providing a statewide voter guide is not only popular with Idahoans but is also a best practice that all states should consider to help provide voters with the information they need to make informed decisions about those wishing to represent them.