Yesterday Gov. Butch Otter announced that Idaho will qualify for $51.6 million in federal aid for its ailing schools, and said he'll apply for the funds, and state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna hailed Otter's decision in a statement posted here yesterday. Later the same day, Democratic candidate for governor Keith Allred issued a statement saying the decision to apply for the federal funds was a sign that Otter had failed the schools this year; "Otter cut education so severely that even taking the big federal bailout won't keep our schools whole," he said. And legislative Democrats sent out a statement urging Otter and Luna to quickly distribute the money to schools to make up the "dramatic and unprecedented cuts that have occurred under Republican leadership in recent years." Click below to read both their statements.
For immediate release - Monday, August 16, 2010
Legislative Democrats Urge Swift Action on Education Funding
BOISE – Democratic leaders are calling on Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna to make every effort to take advantage of the federal dollars recently made available to help fund Idaho’s public schools.
“We encourage Governor Otter and Superintendent Luna to quickly distribute these federal funds to our school districts to minimize the damage caused by the dramatic and unprecedented cuts that have occurred under Republican leadership in recent years,” said Representative John Rusche, House Minority Leader.
“As we face the beginning of a new school year, parents and students are beginning to feel the impact that massive budget cuts have had on our children’s educational opportunities,” said Senator Kate Kelly, Senate Minority Leader. “State leaders should be fully prepared to take advantage of this unexpected opportunity to invest in the next generation of Idahoans. We will work with our Republican colleagues to get these resources into the classroom as soon as possible where it will do the most good.”
Allred for Idaho
August 16, 2010
Otter's cuts too severe for federal bailout
Allred: Bailout is best evidence Otter failed Idaho schools
Keith Allred, candidate for governor in 2010, said today that Otter's decision to apply for federal education funding was another sign that he has failed Idaho's schoolkids.
"Public education is a state, not a federal responsibility, as both the U.S. and Idaho constitutions make clear," Allred said. "Idaho had multiple options for keeping education whole on its own without raising taxes or relying on a federal bailout."
"But Otter cut education so severely that even taking the big federal bailout won't keep our schools whole," Allred said.
Allred has consistently said that Idaho schoolkids are bearing the brunt of Otter botching the budget by cutting funding to Idaho schools by $128 million.
Keith Allred is a fifth-generation Idahoan who grew up working on his family's ranches. He has been the leader of The Common Interest, a citizens' advocate group that helped lower property taxes and fight proposals to raise car and pickup registration fees.