IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — An east Idaho woman is running for the state House of Representatives.
The position previously belonged to Representative Dell Raybould who announced he would not be running for re-election after 18 legislative session. Now, Elaine King is among three vying for the Idaho Legislative District 34B and says the issues on the top of her list include education.
“I’m really concerned and with a lot of issues, but the top issue is Common Core and SBAC and that kind of defines me,” Elaine King, a candidate for Idaho Legislative District 34B, told KID Newsradio. “My background is in education. I’ve been in the elementary schools and I have seen some real problems there, especially with the younger students…I‘m very concerned about this program and where it’s leading our children in education.”
King said she seen students continue to struggle with the curriculum and said she is not alone in her concerns.
“We’re having more of them needing tutoring services and I’ve talked to a lot of parents and teachers and they definitely agree, it needs to go,” King said.
Efforts to loosen the grip Common Core and the SBAC test in Idaho have failed, King said, because of the power held by state legislative committee chairs to keep bills in their desks instead of sending them to committee.
“We do have bills on Common Core and getting rid of SBAC,” King said. “They’ve come before or the committee, the education committee, but those bills have been in the desk of that committee chair woman and won’t come up to be voted on or debated on and so I think that’s why you haven’t heard very much about it. People don’t know they can even fight it anymore.”
Changing that process only comes in becoming actively involved in the legislature and pressuring those who continue to hold bills in their desks to bring those proposals into committee and cast a vote.
“Well, the only way you really can change it is to either pressure or change those who are in power,” King said. “We have a speaker that’s allowed that to happen and so there’s that power that they given to their committee chairs and allowed them to do that. So, if you have someone else in power that says, ‘No, you as one of the fourteen committee chairs, you’re going to need to read those bills, bring them up, give them an up or down vote and that’s kind of where it starts.”
But, King said she’s not just concerned with changing the educational landscape in Idaho. If elected, she said she also hopes to address spending issues in the legislature.
“Well, I did see a lot of problems in 2017 with spending,” King said. “We’ve had a lot of money coming into Idaho, from revenues in the last several years and this year, you probably noticed, $400 million dollars of excess taxes and we we seem to have a problem spending and that’s a concern to me. One of the main principles of the Republican party states that we’re supposed to use money only for those things, which is necessary and I think we have to reign in the spending and use money wisely.”
King is running against two other Republican candidates, Britt Raybould and Marshall Merrell. Information on King’s campaign can be found on her website.