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.

Idaho State Capitol

Analysis: The education culture wars go full circle, and head for a showdown

By: - July 28, 2021

Originally posted on on July 28, 2021 Idaho’s education culture wars will come full circle Thursday. That’s when Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin’s education task force meets again, focusing this time on higher education. Where Idaho’s debate began, two years ago. There’s no disputing that the controversy over critical race theory and school indoctrination has […]

Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin presides over the Idaho Senate.

McGeachin’s inbox: What she’s hearing on critical race theory and indoctrination

By: - July 28, 2021

Originally posted on on July 28, 2021 The bulk of emails to Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin voice support for her task force targeting indoctrination in schools. Some emailers — from across Idaho and from beyond state lines — say the effort is an overdue and gutsy attempt to curb leftist teachings. Lt. Gov. Janice […]

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 — […]

Idaho State Capitol

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 […]

Boise State sign

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 […]