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Posts tagged: propositions

SR: Idaho Schools Take Fresh Hits

Unbowed by the defeats of Propositions 1, 2 and 3 last November, Idaho lawmakers have renewed their efforts to undermine public school education. Legislative committees this week voted to: allow school districts to impose contract terms on teachers; fund charter school building costs; and, most insidiously, create a $10 million tuition fund for private schools. An attorney general opinion quoted by Rep. Stephen Hartgen, R-Twin Falls, quite accurately characterized the fund as “an artful dodge to allow sort of a shell with respect to support of religious schools”/SR Editorial Board. More here.

Question: I'll keep asking the question: Why do Idahoans, who say they support education, stand by while legislators continue to attack school funding and try to bring back Luna Laws?

NY Mayor Gave $200K For Luna Laws

Education Voters of Idaho, acting under a judge's order, filed its campaign finance disclosure report this afternoon, revealing the until-now anonymous donors to the group's statewide TV ad campaign in favor of Propositions 1, 2 and 3, the school reform measures. Among them: $200,000 from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (pictured), and $250,000 from Boise's Joseph B. Scott. Michael Bloomberg is the third-term mayor of New York, an independent, a former Republican and former Democrat, and one of the nation's richest men. He is pro-choice, pro-gun control, and made national waves this year with his move to ban the sale of sugary soft drinks in servings bigger than 16 ounces on public health grounds. He's clashed with the city's public employee unions, including during a transit workers strike in 2005, and as mayor took direct control over the city's public schools, where he's pushed for reforms/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (AP photo)

Question: What the heck is a New York mayor doing by doughnating $200K to an Idaho education fight?

Betsy Analyzes H-P Pact Numbers

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, center, along with Gov. Butch Otter, right, and executives from Hewlett-Packard Co., announced on Tuesday in Boise that HP was awarded a multi-year contract to provided laptops and technology support to Idaho students as part of  Luna's “Students Comes First” initiative. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Katherine Jones)

At Eye on Boise, Betsy Russell writes: “I still have not received a copy of the $180 million contract the state of Idaho signed yesterday with Hewlett-Packard Corp. and partners for laptop computers for Idaho high schools, but the State Department of Education just sent me this cost breakdown. It shows that the total amount of the contract is $181,935,125. Their figure for the total number of laptops matches the one from the RFP, at 90,376. But with the phase-in over the eight years, the total number of laptop-years in the contract comes to 554,251, because smaller numbers are included for the first, second and third years. The contract includes $292.77 for each of the 554,251 laptop-years, which adds up to $162,268,065.” More here.

Also by Betsy:

Shadow Group To Re-Start Campaign

A shadowy group that raised and spent more than $200,000 in anonymous contributions to fund statewide TV ads in favor of Propositions 1, 2 and 3, the school reform referenda, issued a defiant news release today headed, “Founders: 'We won't back down,'” asserting that it'll resume its activities to “talk to voters about education reform and make sure they understand the education issues on Idaho's ballot” in the final two weeks before the election - despite a legal dispute with the Idaho Secretary of State over the legality of the group not disclosing its contributors/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Why would individuals contributing to Luna Law reforms be afraid to acknowledge their financial contribution since Republican leadership is behind the change?

Teacher: CdA School Vibe ‘Toxic’

Idaho is considering whether to keep three education laws that overhaul everything from how teachers are paid to how kids learn in the classroom. Voters in several states across the country will decide on education measures this November. Washington votes on whether to allow charter schools and Idaho is considering whether to keep not one but three brand new laws. They overhaul everything from how teachers are paid to how kids learn in the classroom. The vote is a test for some controversial ideas in education and for the man behind them. Idaho classrooms are political battlegrounds this fall. Many teachers, like Coeur d’Alene band instructor Tim Sandford, strongly oppose the Idaho education laws. That’s creating discord with administrators who are trying to implement the changes even as the election looms. Sandford describes the atmosphere in his school this way: “Toxic, it’s toxic”/Jessica Robinson, NPR. More here. (Northwest Public Radio photo: Jessica Robinson)

Question: Tim Sandford's a good teacher and man. I'm concerned that he would describe the atmosphere in our schools as “toxic.” What do you think?

Gem State Tea Party Backs Props 1-3

The new group that consolidates Tea Party branches across Idaho, urges “yes” votes on the three 2011 education laws authored by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna. “FACTS and LOVE of Idaho's kids caused us to endorse Yes Yes Yes to keep Education Modernization Laws!” says the group in an email announcing a special edition newsletter. The newsletter reprints content provided by the Idaho Freedom Foundation, including an editorial by Executive Director Wayne Hoffman. Also includes a dissent from Bob Compton, a veterinarian, who questions the laptop mandate and says “Luna is encouraging implementation of a federal/UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) program for our students that will move Idaho's education system even further away from local control”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo)


Read more here:

Trustees Take No Stand On Props 1-3

After hearing testimony Monday from several teachers, Coeur d'Alene school board members decided against taking a united stand in support of the education reform referendums, Propositions 1, 2 and 3 on the Nov. 6 ballot. A discussion of the referendums was placed on the meeting agenda at the request of Trustee Terri Seymour. “I would like to at least discuss and hear what people have to say, including myself,” Seymour said. She said she would like to ask the board to endorse a yes vote on Proposition 1, at the very least. But first, they heard from the teachers, who waited through several hours of other board business for their chance to speak on the agenda item, slated late in the meeting/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Jerome A. Pollos/Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Mamie Geib, right, and Bette Price, show their support for voting no against the proposed “Luna Laws” near the MidTown Center in Coeur d'Alene Monday)

Question: Do you think the School Board made the right move by personally supporting Propositions 1-3 but not  taking a united stand?

School Board To Discuss Luna Laws

Update: Christa Hazel is covering School Board meeting live for HucksOnline,

The Coeur d'Alene School Board is now meeting to discuss taking a position on the three ballot propositions associated with the Luna Laws.

  • 6 p.m. You can follow the rest of Christa's coverge in the comments section.
  • 5:36 p.m. Superintendent Bauman reports that our district received an AA2 rating from Moody's for our bonds.  This is the highest bond rating for any school district in Idaho but for 1, which was AA1 for a charter school in Boise that didn't require an election..  Third party Moody's, gives our district this high rating because our financials are strong.
  • 5:29 p.m. Noticeably absent from tonight's meeting audience.
  • 5:28 p.m. Public comment on non-agenda items has concluded. The Superintendent's report plus Trustee comments are coming up soon. Estimated around 7:20 will be Props 1,2&3 discussion.  Public comment regarding this agenda item will take place at that time.
  • 5:24 p.m. A few Hayden Meadow parents signed up to speak during public comment of non-agenda items. Quite a few teachers are in attendance. Jim Purtee is absent from the meeting.
  • 5:23 p.m. Angie Phillips asks the Board if the school board took into account the June 2010 IB/PYP Ad-Hoc Committe that addressed 7 in-depth questions resulting in 50-ish pages of analysis per question studying the impact of IB/PYP.  She requested a personal reply from each board member on how this report played into their decision. Full statement here.
  • 5:13 p.m. Tony Perka speaks to the Luna Laws.  He asks if the school board has looked to the Boise School Board, who has a reasoned statement against the Luna Laws.  He refers to “poli-tricks” involved with the Luna Laws.  Claims Rep. Hammond stated nothing would change but Mr. Perka believes that this was a lie.

Question: Do you think the Coeur d'Alene School Board will take a position on the Luna Laws? Which way will the trustees come down, if they do?

Otter Pal Raises $200K For Props 1-3

Debbie Field, Gov. Butch Otter's former drug czar and two-time campaign manager, has raised $200,350 from a single source and spent it on broadcast ads supporting Propositions 1, 2 and 3, also known as “Students Come First” and “The Luna Laws.” Field heads a new group, Parents for Education Reform, which filed its Sunshine report Tuesday, a day before the deadline for finance reports covering the period May 26 to Sept. 30. The new political action committee's treasurer is Cordell Chigbrow, who also is Otter's treasurer. All but $32 of the $200,350 raised was paid to Sandler-Innocenzi Inc., for broadcast advertising, which includes radio, TV and internet spots/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Why is Gov. Otter and his followers so sold out to the Luna Laws?

Idaho’s Overlooked Ed Overhaul Law

Of the three Students Come First laws, Proposition 1 doesn’t have much sizzle. It’s not as juicy as Prop 2, the teacher merit pay law, or Prop 3, the law to equip high school students with portable devices. Prop 1 deals with such matters as “evergreen clauses,” longstanding language in teachers union contracts. “Proposition 1 is the one that most directly affects school board members and we feel like it’s the one getting the least attention,” Karen Echeverria, executive director of the Idaho School Boards Association, told the Idaho Press-Tribune this week. “It’s important for board members to educate the public on Proposition 1.” So this week, Echeverria’s group came out in support of keeping Prop 1 on the books, while taking no position on the other two referenda that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Have you studied the education overhaul propositions on the November ballot enough to distinguish one from the others?

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D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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