Coeur d'Alene school board incumbent supports full-day kindergarten; her opponent opposes mask mandate

·3 min read

Oct. 27—An incumbent and her challenger for a seat on the Coeur d'Alene School Board say they want to mend the rift between parents and the district — with different views on how exactly to accomplish that.

Lisa May, who was elected in 2017, faces Allie Anderton for a seat on the Coeur d'Alene Public Schools Board of Trustees.

May said upon re-election she would continue being fiscally conservative while supporting school levies that address the district's needs for upgraded facilities. May also supports full-day kindergarten and boosting mental health resources for students.

Anderton did not respond to interview requests. On social media, Anderton has written about her opposition to critical race theory and said she "on a mission to bring integrity, trust, and transparency back to Cd'A Schools," according to her official candidate Facebook page.

Anderton told the Coeur d'Alene Press that although critical race theory is not taught in local schools, children could still learn about it through other educational standards such as social emotional learning. Anderton also stated she would not support "medical mandates," according to a flyer posted on her Facebook page.

May said she opposes vaccine mandates, adding the district does not really have that authority anyway — only local health authorities in Idaho are able to implement mandates in public schools.

May has supported requirements to wear masks when case rates of COVID-19 are high. She voted against ending a mask mandate in April, arguing that masks could help slow the spread of COVID-19 and help keep students in school. Last month, after North Idaho hospitals were given permission to ration care because they were overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, she voted against a school COVID-19 plan that did not require masks.

"I believe if we can implement more mitigation strategies, we also could go without masks when our positivity rate again declines to where it was in June and July," May said at the September board meeting during which the plan was approved. "We have never seen this rapid of an increase in cases in our community."

May said she wants to address issues more local to Coeur d'Alene, like making needed upgrading facilities at some of the district's schools.

"We're prepared for growth and we want to provide great education opportunities — like our special education programs. These are really great programs we provide through our levies," May said.

Anderton said she was supportive of a "classical education" framework of learning, according to her responses on the Kootenai County Voter Guide. Upon election Anderton said she wanted to mend the relationships between parents and the school district, according to the guide.

May agreed the school district and the parents should have better communication after a tumultuous back-to-school season, which culminated in the cancelation of a board meeting Sept. 24 during which masks were scheduled to be discussed by the board. The school board's chair said the meeting was cancelled for safety reasons after police reported that "that individuals outside the door were discussing breaking it down and not abiding by the capacity limits."

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