There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding what Idaho public school teachers are currently allowed to teach and how those decisions are made. Keep It Local Idaho wants to clear up the confusion about how local school boards operate to ensure curriculum is appropriate for our schoolchildren. Local solutions are already in place to safeguard our children and their parents’ rights to address concerns they may have with curriculum. Here are the local solutions local school trustees provide.
Idaho’s school trustees are the elected body responsible for selecting the curricular materials used in Idaho’s public school classrooms. Most often, the school board will create a community committee that assists in those adoption processes. All meetings on curricular materials are required by law to be open to the public, and members of the public are encouraged to submit written or oral comments on the materials.
Even more, every single piece of curricular material that goes in front of a child is available for inspection, with an appointment, by any parent or patron of a school district or charter school. Further, a parent may excuse their child from a particular lesson, and our schools would be required to provide an alternate assignment.
Every school district and charter school – and most local governments – adopt policies and procedures at the local level that spell out the appropriate process for filing a grievance or concern about any given topic. Typically for public schools, the procedure will include a process for describing the grievance and related information, such as a desired resolution to the grievance. These local processes fill the crucial role of setting up a clear process for both staff and patrons of a school district, and setting reasonable expectations and timelines for both parties.
Trustees are Locally Elected Officials
In nearly every school district in Idaho, school trustees are elected by zone. This means your school trustee is not only a member of your community, they likely reside in your neighborhood. All school trustees are volunteers and receive no pecuniary benefit to serving on a school board. This ensures that trustees are serving for the correct and appropriate reason—for the benefits of the students. This organization is meant to educate Idahoans about how local issues affect you.
There are many local options for having your voice heard. We hope you will continue to reach out to your local officials with ideas and solutions about possible concerns in your communities.