"Without a struggle, there can be no progress."
- Frederick Douglass
Teacher Background Checks
Currently, new teachers are often required to pay for a background check through the school district, as well as each individual school they apply for. This leads to unnecessary financial strain for new employees. Senate Bill 1094 would require the employing school district the employing school district, when requested at the time of the application or within 6 months following the performance of the criminal history check. A copy would also be provided to the applicant upon request.
The House Health and Welfare committee introduced legislation intended to provide some basic primary care and limited prescription coverage on a first come first serve basis to people earning less than 100% of the federal poverty level. The proposal is to use the state's Millennium Fund to cover the cost. This funding mechanism will not leverage any additional federal dollars. A public hearing on this bill will at least open the conversation on health care for this session.
Dr. Troy Rohn
Thank you to Dr. Troy Rohn for filling in for me in the Senate this week. He did a great job and I am grateful for all of his help.
Dr. Troy Rohn has been a professor in biology at Boise State University for 17 tears where he teaches and has a research program in Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Rohn also serves as a Trustee on the Boise School Board and is the Chair for their legislative committee. He works closely with Senator Buckner-Webb and Senator Ward-Engelking in the Senate Education Committee during the session.
Last week the House of Representatives voted to remove references to climate change and human impact on the environment from a new set of science standards. Dr. Rohn reached out to Chris Taylor, the Director of Science Curriculum for the Boise School District to get more information.
Q: Did you feel the process to come up with the language (5 paragraphs) related to climate change was a good one?
A: The language was strong and scientifically accurate and reflected best practice as well as current scientific consensus.
Q: Were the science standards related to climate change flawed in some way?
A: Absolutely not. The language had been vetted by professionals in the scientific and the science education community and was well supported by current evidence.
Q: What about districts that choose to still teach climate change- will they under the law be allowed to?
A: The law states that districts can adopt additional standards above and beyond the ones set at the state level so we will continue to teach climate change in the district and expect very little impact to our teachers and students.
Idaho Local Edition
I recently had the opportunity to interview with Idaho Local Edition and discuss education, trade, and the state budget. Click here to watch the full interview!
Japanese Remembrance Day
For Japanese Remembrance Day, I will be presenting a Concurrent Resolution honoring Minoru Yasui at the Capitol. Minoru Yasui was a Japanese American who was interned for most of World War II and is known for his human and civil rights activism. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 2015.
Here to Serve You
The goal of District 19 legislators is to address immediate needs while working strategically toward long term goals. It is my honor to serve you in the Idaho State Senate. Know that your letters, emails, texts, and calls are invaluable. I appreciate hearing what is most important to you and your family.
Join House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding, Representative Melissa Wintrow and me for our last District 19 Town Hall:
February 22nd 6:30 p.m.
Shadow Hills Elementary
8301 W. Sloan St.
Boise, ID 83714