Issue of: May 13, 1998  



Askew for school board

Even though education is a top concern of Idahoans, you wouldn’t know it by the contested campaign for the Blaine County School Board. Candidates answered open-ended questions with few specifics, opting instead to stake their claims in favor of good education.

The real billion dollar question for which people are desperate for answers is, "What is good education and how may we provide it?"

While politicians are on the stump across the state extolling the virtues of local control over education, we sometimes wonder what control the local school board exercises over anything except staff levels or building designs.

Concerned voters searching for answers and direction won’t find much guidance from the candidates for school board. They listed many challenges facing the schools, but had little to say about how they should be met.

One thing for sure, though, is that it takes time for members of the school board to get a grip on the workings of the school district. That’s a good reason to return one-term incumbent Janet Askew to the board.

Askew has been a strong advocate for equal treatment and funding for all county schools. She knows her way around the district’s budget. She is leaning toward drug testing for kids who participate in extra-curricular activities. She says she wants to examine it as a way to deter kids from partaking of the modern drug smorgasbord spread before them. As the mother of two teenagers, she knows the challenges. Challenger Sharon Egan Cappel has many reservations about the idea.

Askew’s experience makes her the clear choice in the race.


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