At times, District 93 School Superintendent Scott Woolstenhulme doesn’t know if he is a politician or a school administrator. He continues to write opinion editorials opposing school choice options for parents and students, among other things. Woolstenhulme has decided that anyone who takes money for their children’s educational savings account from “public funds” must adhere to the same laws, regulations and expectations as the public school system. It is obvious that he loves government and thinks you and your children must adhere to the government’s terms of state standards and expectations if you want to take your tax money elsewhere to educate your child. Woolstenhulme has proven to be the quintessential government bureaucrat, extreme loyalty to the system.
PhD Woolstenhulme has a really hard time comprehending a simple section of the Idaho Constitution. He would like you to believe that the required “free education” portion of the Idaho Constitution means that taxpayer dollars cannot support anything else. This is absolute manipulation. Article IX Section 1 requires the state to maintain a free public education system. Great, I can support that without the current top heavy administrative costs. For example, we don’t need two district administrations in the Idaho Falls area. The Idaho Constitution doesn’t prohibit tax money supporting school choice. If taxpaying parents wish to take their taxpayer dollars to a private school; there is nothing abhorrent about that. It is their money, not the government’s. I liken Woolstenhulme’s thoughts on taxpayer dollars to Obama’s ideology of taxpayer dollars. Bureaucrats, such as Woolstenhulme and Obama, love to think of taxpayer dollars as the property of the government and anything associated with that money must adhere to government regulation. This ideology puts the government in charge, not We the People. Apparently, We the People is a hard concept for Woolstenhulme. He has a hard time understanding that legislators represent their constituents and if these constituents want school choice; then it is the duty of those legislators to support and/or sponsor such bills.
School choice has gained a lot of traction in Idaho. My word, Utah just adopted it into law. Sadly, Idaho is usually catching up to other state’s conservative legislation. Idaho might be a red state, but we are not a conservative state. This was verified to me during my time in the legislature. I was often referred to as the most conservative legislator in the state for 4 years. I was a target because of it. If we were truly a conservative state; the establishment would have protected me.
It is very apparent that Woolstenhulme doesn’t want competition with his public-school empire. He doesn’t want his inflated salary of 155k a year to be jeopardized. No one is proposing getting rid of the public school system, but school choice could very well downsize their monopoly and that terrifies Woolstenhulme and the industrial educational complex. School choice advocates are not wishing to violate the Idaho Constitution by exterminating the public school system, but Woolstenhulme and even his wife wish the general public to believe that taxpayer funded school choice is a violation of the Idaho Constitution. Again, this is classic manipulation. Parents are tired of the woke agenda in our public-school systems. School choice will help put this woke garbage in check within the public school system. If parents become exhausted with their children being bombarded with woke garbage; they can choose to go somewhere else. I firmly believe that Woolstenhulme understands this. If he focused on his job, not politics, and kept the woke agenda out of our school system; then he wouldn’t have the competition that he clearly fears.
Last year, a concerned constituent came to me and showed me evidence of a gay pride flag hanging in a Black Canyon Middle School classroom. I could care less that a teacher supports gay pride or LBGTQ activities, but the children in his/her classroom do not need to know about it! Woolstenhulme has proven to support this woke agenda and allows such activity in the district he supervises.
The reality is that parents are exasperated with this woke agenda being pushed upon their children. However, Woolstenhulme still expects these same parents to fund a monopolized system. My former political opponent, Josh Wheeler, also does not support school choice. He gives homage to the beast of a system.
My advice to Woolstenhulme is to cut out the politics. Do your job as an administrator and stop criticizing those lawmakers that are pushing school choice for their constituents. Your job is to follow the laws that those lawmakers create, not criticize. Since when is the job description of a school superintendent to be a political lobbyist? How many op-eds has Woolstenhulme written in his school administrative office? Are taxpayers paying him to be a lobbyist? Enough is enough, Woolstenhulme!
Former Representative Chad Christensen
This Op-Ed was submitted by Chad Christensen. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.
Tags: Chad Christensen, Education Funding, Idaho Constitution, Idaho Falls, Public Schools, School Choice, School District 93, Scott Woolstenhulme, Woke Agenda