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Viewpoint: Analysis of Idaho superintendent of public instruction candidates debate

This edition of Viewpoint focuses on the candidates' positions on state vs. local control of schools, learning loss during the pandemic and Critical Race Theory.

BOISE, Idaho — On April 26 the three Republican candidates for state superintendent of public Instruction debated in the KTVB studios.

Current Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra is running for a third term. She was first elected in 2014.

Branden Durst is a former state representative and senator. He represented Idaho Legislative District 18, in Boise, as a Democrat. He is now running as a Republican.

Debbie Critchfield was appointed to the State Board of Education in 2014. She spent seven years on the board, serving as president for the last two.
Idaho's 115 public school districts and 68 public charter schools educate more than 317,000 Idaho kids, according to the latest numbers from the State Department of Education.

The superintendent of public instruction is a statewide constitutional officer who runs the State Department of Education, which helps run the state's public school system. The superintendent oversees a department budget of more than $2 billion. The superintendent also has a seat as a voting member on the State Board of Education and the State Board of Land Commissioners.

You can watch the full debate here and on the KTVB YouTube channel.
This edition of Viewpoint focuses on the candidates' positions on state vs. local control, learning loss during the coronavirus pandemic and whether Critical Race Theory is being taught in Idaho schools.

Viewpoint airs Sunday mornings at 9 o'clock on KTVB right after Meet the Press.

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