Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert writes for Idaho Education News, a nonprofit online news outlet supported by grants from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, the Education Writers Association and the Solutions Journalism Network.

Analysis: In the absence of mandates, educators pin their hopes on vaccine messaging

By: - July 22, 2021

Originally posted on on July 22, 2021 As Idaho’s coronavirus case numbers surge again, vaccination numbers continue to lag. And vaccination rates are lowest among young people — just weeks before students are due to return to schools and college campuses. This puts health officials and education leaders in a bind. They say vaccines […]

Analysis: School trustees could mandate staff COVID vaccines. But would they

By: - July 15, 2021

Originally posted on on July 15, 2021 There is nothing stopping school districts and charter schools from requiring their employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Gov. Brad Little’s executive order banning “vaccine passports” says nothing about K-12 schools. That means school trustees and administrators are free to follow the lead from the Treasure Valley’s […]

Analysis: Could the delta variant stop a ‘normal’ school year before it starts?

By: - July 8, 2021

Originally posted on on July 8, 2021 School will be different this fall. More like normal. That’s the hope — or the assumption — shared by parents, students, teachers and administrators. Does the latest coronavirus variant challenge this hope and shake this assumption? As the delta variant becomes the predominant form of coronavirus in […]

Little appoints a familiar figure to the State Board of Education

By: - July 7, 2021

Originally posted on on July 7, 2021 Gov. Brad Little is appointing an old ally to fill a vacancy on the State Board of Education. Bill Gilbert — a Boise businessman who co-chaired Little’s 2019 education task force — will succeed Boise business executive Andrew Scoggin on the State Board. In the weeks and […]

Analysis: How critical race theory turned into a political ‘bogeyman’

By: - July 1, 2021

Originally posted on on July 1, 2021 Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin’s task force on school indoctrination meets at the Statehouse on June 24. Nik Streng/Idaho Education News As education culture wars consumed the Statehouse this spring, the running joke was that Idaho educators were scrambling to Google to figure out what “critical race theory” […]

Eighteen months, 5,000 students: Idaho colleges and universities face a deep enrollment decline

By: - June 21, 2021

Originally posted on on June 21, 2021 Idaho’s public colleges and universities have lost more than 5,000 students since the pandemic. It’s not worst-case scenario stuff. The 18-month dropoff was 8.7%, but administrators feared a 20% decrease. By placing a premium on face-to-face learning — in the midst of a public health crisis — […]

State Board of Education endorses full-day kindergarten

By: and - June 16, 2021

Originally posted on on June 16, 2021 The State Board of Education wants Idaho to fund full-day kindergarten. On Wednesday, the board gave the idea its unanimous support, the first step in a process that could play out through the 2022 legislative session. The State Board wants to free up state dollars for full-day kindergarten […]

Analysis: Report raises important questions about two fast-growing programs

By: - June 10, 2021

Originally posted on on June 10, 2021 Idaho spent about $3 million on coursework and scholarships for students who didn’t pursue college. And that was just in one year, according to legislative researchers. The $3 million is just a fraction of what Idaho spends on its Advanced Opportunities and Opportunity Scholarship programs — but […]

Who is Boise State’s mystery accuser? Boise State isn’t saying

By: - May 25, 2021

Originally posted on on May 25, 2021 On March 15, a community leader contacted Boise State University, claiming to have seen video evidence of a student being harassed during a diversity class. An outside investigative report released Monday exonerated Boise State — but did not identify the non-student behind the complaint. On Tuesday, the […]

Investigators find no wrongdoing in Boise State diversity course

By: - May 24, 2021

Originally posted on on May 24, 2021 An independent investigation of a Boise State University diversity course found no evidence of wrongdoing. What’s more, investigators from the Boise law firm Hawley Troxell found no signs of student indoctrination — the very conduct legislators targeted with a law passed in the waning days of the […]

State Board of Education makes tuition freeze official

By: - May 18, 2021

Originally posted on on May 17, 2021 Calling the move a linchpin in college access and affordability, the State Board of Education Monday approved a second consecutive year of tuition freezes at Idaho’s four-year schools. The 2021-22 freeze covers in-state, undergraduate students. Next year’s tuition and fees break down as follows: University of Idaho, […]

Analysis: A stalemate session, with few clear victors

By: - May 14, 2021

Originally posted on on May 13, 2021 Wednesday, Day 122, beautifully summed up a legislative session of discord, distrust and dysfunction. Still bitter from 2020, and smarting from Gov. Brad Little’s executive pandemic actions, House Republicans insisted on recessing until some later date — so they could unilaterally return to town without waiting on […]