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Op-Ed: Is There Real Controversy About the Freedom in Education Savings Accounts (ESA) Routing Slip?

By • January 30, 2023

I am a parent of a Boise School District 2022 graduate and have been in the trenches to keep my child safe from harmful curriculum. In response to the recent article written by Sarah Anne entitled Senator Tammy Nichols Unveils ‘School Choice’ Legislation, I would like to give an average Idaho parent’s perspective.

School Choice. What is that? I have noticed different perspectives from those that want to keep what is in place because we already have school choice. Parents have the choice to send their kids to a government school, government charter school, private school, pods, or even homeschool. Is that really choice though? If you look at it, every Idaho citizen, even nationally, pays taxes all year round for government schools. Parents with the means, ability and willingness to sacrifice for their children are able to pay the extra money or budget that extra penny to send their student to the school they chose. However, their tax dollars automatically still fund the government schools that they do not want to subject their children to. Also, what about the Mom and Dad that work forty plus hours a week and live paycheck to paycheck. A heavy pressure is put on the parents that do not want to send their children to the current government school system and long for the opportunity to have them go to a private school or homeschool. Are these burdens really a choice? Does it have to be this hard?

The idea to shop around for other schools was when my child brought home a disturbing poetry writing assignment. Why was an English assignment teaching my child about the secular religion collectivism? I ended up testifying at the Education Taskforce 2021. Around this time I enrolled my child in a government virtual academy school since I worked from home. I unfortunately started to find questionable things in online surveys and other Government class assignments. The Director and teachers were understanding, but I eventually did not permit my child to take online surveys any longer. Looking back, it would have been wonderful if this ESA opportunity was available.

In 2022 there was a House Education Committee hearing of a Hope Scholarship that I was set to testify in favor for. Unfortunately the time expired to hear public testimony and I was left to observe. It wasn’t a perfect bill, but it was a great step in the right direction for those paycheck to paycheck parents to experience a new opportunity for their children and see their tax dollars follow the student. There was a glimpse of ‘Hope’ with a majority Republican committee, all to my dismay it failed in committee.

Now Senator Tammy Nichols has given Idaho parents another opportunity and it’s even better than the Hope Scholarship. Everyone is covered in this. The parent has to renew annually (page 3), the government is not permitted to exercise control over non-public or home schools (page 6). The ESA tax dollars also give parents an opportunity for additional help such as educational therapies, tutoring, vocational and even extra-curricular activities to name a few. Referencing Sarah Anne’s article above, many Idahoans with children are not homeschool parents or a Satanist. They are normal parents that struggled to pay for Occupational Therapy and Tutoring outside of the government school, along with sacrificing financially to send their children to private or alternative pod schools.

Even though my child is no longer in the government school system, I plan to support those that feel like they are trapped in the system and put a stop to tax funding that shapes students minds rather than teach reading, writing and arithmetic. I do not appreciate the confusion from misreading an RS (Routing Slip) and lumping good old-fashioned parents that are for this true School Choice opportunity as potential Satanists. I fully support Senator Tammy Nichol’s RS Freedom in Education Savings Accounts (ESA) and ask Senator Dave Lent to hear this important RS and get it recorded as a bill so that the representatives the Idaho voters elected to represent them have a voice.

This Op-Ed was submitted by Christi Warhurst. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

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Tags: Education, Education Funding, Education Taskforce, ESA, Idaho Education Taskforce, Idaho Freedom Caucus, School Choice, Senator Dave Lent, Senator Tammy Nichols

5 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Is There Real Controversy About the Freedom in Education Savings Accounts (ESA) Routing Slip?

  1. I agree completely. School choice is education freedom. It gives every parent the power to choose the right school for their children and not be forced to accept the ones assigned by the government.

  2. If action is to be implemented for the parent/child’s good, The Lt. Governor, Senate Pro Tem, State School’s Superintendent and all University President’s must be relived of their duties today and never return.

  3. Real school choice means allowing every parent to choose how and where their child will be educated – whether that comes at the hands of a trusted educator or their own efforts.

    Historically, education used to be up to the community – not the State and _certainly_ not the Federal government. That’s the way it should be: it is these parents and taxpayers who foot the bill and their children who are affected! Those without that skin in the game should not be making the decisions for those who do!

    In my opinion, school curriculae choices should be ratified by _parents_ – not by school boards. Boards may present the plan to the parents, but it should be the parents who ultimately decide.

    As a taxpayer and father of students from kindergarten to university, I have watched in dismay as more and more leftists have crept into positions of power in our school systems. They frequently have no children of their own yet seek to indoctrinate mine and turn them against timeless, traditional values in favor of evil. And I call it that because that’s what it is: EVIL. These people want to enslave _my_ children to them.

    I support any move to return education back to its proper form, that being under the control of the parents and recognizing the parents priority and control being superior in every fashion to that of a public policy maker (notice that I did not use the word “servant”). Until we return to such an understanding, our children will continue to be subjected to the perversions that come from those who seek their enslavement and destruction.

  4. Parents! Beware that mentally deranged teachers are teaching in the public government schools in Idaho. They are sexualizing children, telling them there is more than one gender, that they have pronouns, that boys can have periods, that they can take hormones and have surgery to change their sex, that white children are privileged, etc. The only reason we need school choice, more than ever now, is because public schools have gone insane. Don’t bury your heads in the sand; the deranged liberals are in Idaho’s schools and school administrators are allowing and encouraging the liberal deranged teachers to teach your kids. Solution: school choice, form homeschools and private schools or school pods. The teachers union leaders will do everything to destroy America and it’s children through its liberal indoctrination. Don’t let that happen in Idaho!

  5. The real answer is to phase out public education, K-12 and college. Karl Marx was a fan of public education. We are a socialist society because of government education. We have little, or no, faith in Heavenly Father because of public education.

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