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Huckleberries Online

Idaho’s Choice: College or cancer?

It’s not a secret that crippling student debt has been on the rise for years. Idaho is no different. But where Idaho differentiates itself from most of the nation is the number of high school students going on to college. Idaho has consistently been at the bottom of the rankings of U.S. high school students going on to college. A group sees tuition costs as the problem and cigarettes as the solution. “Do we want the cheapest cigarettes in the West or do we want to give our kids a chance to succeed?” That’s the argument and slogan plastered on pushing for an initiative that would increase cigarette taxes and direct that money toward public universities in Idaho. Bill Moran, the campaign's spokesman who runs the site, says that Idaho has gone from dedicating 14 percent to 8 percent of the general fund on education, and dedicated more money toward health care costs. Idahoans spend $508 million annually on tobacco-related health care costs, according to the American Lung Association, and $258 million on four-year public universities and colleges, according to the site/Quinn Western, Inlander. More here. (Illustration:

D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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