Governor Brad Little signed a bill in April banning certain aspects of CRT in primary education. However, critics say the bill didn’t go far enough. The state chapter of the NEA has declared it will continue to incorporate social justice into its teaching goals, indicating further fights may lie ahead. No state-level regulations seem to exist for Idaho’s public universities or colleges, but individual schools have implemented some level of CRT training for students, faculty, and staff.
Law seeks to insure “dignity and nondiscrimination in public education”
On April 28, 2021, Idaho Governor Brad Little signed House Bill 377, which bans public institutions from teaching particular elements of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and forcing students to accept it. It also bans public funding for any related curriculum.
Idaho becomes the first state in the nation to enact prohibitions against CRT in public education. While many cheered the bill, critics say more must be done.
The Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF), a free market think tank, cheered the bill but says more must be done. IFF President Wayne Hoffman took the opportunity to blast public education officials in the state for misrepresenting the bill, writing,
Idaho education officials are being dishonest when they say there’s no evidence of leftist indoctrination in our public schools and universities. They’re also being dishonest when they claim that the newly-signed House Bill 377 prevents critical race theory from being taught.
The legislation is certainly helpful. It says that students can no longer be compelled to “personally affirm, adopt, or adhere” to a doctrine of hate that is embodied in critical race theory. Despite media reports to the contrary, the new law does not ban teaching CRT, nor does it ban teachers from being trained in how to treat some students as victims of systemic racism.
As the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s Anna K. Miller discovered, so-called “culturally responsive teaching” is baked into Idaho’s rules for teacher certification. Those rules might explain why Idaho’s teacher certification requirements demand educators promote social justice. It probably also explains why some schools in Idaho are openly recruiting teachers who are social justice warriors.
While no state directive dictates the state’s institutes of higher education infuse CRT into their curricula, many of the public universities have gone all in on social justice, anti-racism, and systems of oppression. Boise State, the University of Idaho, and Idaho State have all added varying levels of CRT indoctrination.