It’s debate season! How to hear candidates for governor, schools chief, others

An excerpt from a flyer announcing Tuesday’s Idaho schools superintendent forum, with the three participating candidates.
An excerpt from a flyer announcing Tuesday’s Idaho schools superintendent forum, with the three participating candidates.

Early education programs, school violence and how to turn around low-performing schools all featured in a Tuesday night forum for candidates seeking to lead Idaho’s public school system.

Three candidates took questions at the event at Boise State University — but not current Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra. Organizers say they invited her but could not reach agreement on a schedule, according to Idaho Education News.

The forum organized by the news website, BSU’s Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies, and Boise State Public Radio was among a number now on the calendar as voting nears. Idaho’s primary elections are May 15, and there’s now less than a month before early voting starts.

All of Idaho’s elected state executive and legislative seats and two congressional posts are on the ballot this year, including hotly contested races for governor and U.S. House.

Ybarra, a Republican, faces Wilder School District Superintendent Jeff Dillon in this spring’s Republican primary. Teacher Cindy Wilson and retiree Allen Humble are competing in the Democratic primary.

Read highlights of Tuesday’s forum posted by Idaho Education News here, or watch the full forum on its Facebook page here.

Also coming up: KBOI-TV and 670 KBOI radio will feature Republican candidates for governor and Idaho’s 1st Congressional District at a set of debates this Saturday, and were working to add Democratic candidates as well. The debates will be streamed live at IdahoNews.com and broadcast on the radio.

Idaho Public Television just announced its schedule of debates for many of the statewide elected positions, including governor, lieutenant governor, schools superintendent and treasurer. Find the schedule, and catch up on debates after they air, at this link. The Idaho Debates are a partnership among IPTV, the Idaho Press Club, Boise State University’s School of Public Service, the University of Idaho’s McClure Center, Idaho State University’s School of Political Science and the League of Women Voters’ Voter Education Fund.

Watch for the Statesman’s voter guide

Our voter guide, produced in partnership with the League of Women Voters, will cover all Treasure Valley races on the ballot this spring.

Candidate invitations are in the works. The finished guide should be available at IdahoStatesman.com and Vote411.org in late April. Excerpts will also publish in a future print edition of the Statesman.