LEWISTON – Brandon Durst is running for Superintendent of Idaho to fight for school choice and better Idaho’s education.
Durst is a third-generation Idahoan and has a family filled with educators. The field of education has always been an interest for Durst. He has taught in a few areas such as serving as a community college instructor, substitute teacher, varsity high school coach, and running a tutoring program at the Boys and Girls Club. However, he felt he could make the biggest difference by working with education policy.
In 2006, Durst put his ideas in motion and was elected to the Idaho House of Representatives. Throughout his four years in the position, he worked on addressing a plethora of issues facing Idaho’s education system. Durst also was a State Senator for a year from 2012 to 2013. Throughout his time in state politics, he started the Advanced Opportunities program Idaho children still utilize today and much more.
“I was four years’ worth of votes,” Durst said. “However, I am most proud of my pro-life voting record. That put me at odds often time, but I stuck by my convictions.”
Ultimately, Durst decided to step back into his career in Idaho policy and run for Superintendent because he wants to be a voice of change for parents and students around the state. As a father of five, he found himself upset with the way things are going currently. He explained there wasn’t a kind of advocate for parents he thought there should be, and he believed he could help.
Durst already has legislation drafted that he plans to utilize on day one if elected. He stated his Empower Parents in Education Act has a few main components. The first is an education savings account that rewrites the state’s funding formula.
“Within that, what we have done is propose to maintain or increase per people funding for 95% of school districts and 90% of all students, while still providing school choice,” Durst said. “This ensures that any school district with less than 2,000 students will never see a reduction in funding on a per people basis.”
The component Durst stated he is the most excited about is the idea of ending the battle between public and private schools. He explained with the EEPA, public schools will no longer be completely out of a student’s funding if they decide to go to private school. The bill allows for every student in the school district to count for the public school, regardless of where they are enrolled.
“If you go to the private school in Moscow, the Moscow school district still gets 30% of your funding, if they sign up for the program,” Durst said. “This is an incentive to work together and get kids educated.”
Creating alternative pathways is something Durst explained is important to recognize. He stated a one size fits all approach to high school graduation does not work. Durst has proposed Idaho should have three different tracks. The standard graduation track, an academically driven track for individuals wanting to pursue post-secondary education, and a career technical track tailored to what they plan to do after high school.
“We want kids to have a desire and are prepared to be successful with whatever they plan to do,” Durst said. “Far too many kids enter post-secondary education and have to remediate. This is expensive and ineffective. [Also,] for those who want to enter the workforce, instead of taking four years of English and learning Shakespeare, they can take four years of technical writing.
Ending Common Core, Critical Race Theory and so much more are also at the top of Durst’s agenda. He explained he is the clear conservative and recommended candidate for the job by counties, committees, and more.
To learn more about Durst’s views and endorsements, check out his website https://www.durstforidaho.com/home