The most direct contact many people have with government is the school system both as a student and later as a parent. Education is personal.
That is why I support local school board decision making, based upon educator, parent and public involvement. Local government is a place where parents, school personnel and taxpayers have a direct and personal impact on important decisions.
Local school boards have been mostly dependent upon State funding since 2006 but the recession and the end of stimulus dollars have left local decision makers in a bind. This year property taxes were raised by Boise voters, and I will support better state funding to avoid that.
New state mandated programs create additional difficulties. The new programs added in 2011 did not include an additional funding source for the laptops for every high school student, on line “virtual” education, and teacher merit pay. This funding will probably come from the already sparse education budget.
These new programs would be better fashioned by local districts instead of state mandates. Taxpayers have asked me, “Are all high school students mature enough for laptops and virtual learning?”, noting that some high students are not motivated. Parents have asked “My son can’t sit still – he loses his books. Will I have to pay for the damaged laptop?” “What happens if my daughter’s laptop is stolen? “I prefer HP – will my son have an HP? Or does the Government decide?” ”Don’t laptops become obsolete fairly quickly?” “Why not just have computers available in school like at South Jr. High?”. “A laptop for every student is socialism”. “Is there warranty coverage?”
The local school board is the place to find the money and make the policy that addresses local needs as expressed by parents, school personnel, and taxpayers. This produces a better result for our children and gives all of us a stake in one of the most personal connections we have with government.