Shame on the
Legislature handed businesses and residents more than $100 million in
permanent tax cuts last year.
economy was still rolling along with only minor bumps predicted in the
then. This is the recession.
the Senate took an ax to public school funding and cut $23.3 million in
state aid. The vote was 27-6. Only three Republicans and three Democrats
couldn’t stomach the action.
It was the
first time state aid to public schools has been reduced during a budget
crisis. The reductions could have been avoided.
Legislature’s Republican super-majority backed itself into a corner last
couldn’t fund education this year without raising taxes—an ideological
anathema—because they cut taxes last year. So, ideology won. Kids lost.
class sizes, supply shortages, and fewer programs will hinder teachers at
the same time the public is demanding better performance by students on
standardized tests. The cuts will hit rural schools especially hard. This
from legislators who talk constantly about protecting Idaho’s rural
were scheduled to gather on the steps of the Statehouse Tuesday to protest
lawmakers defended the cuts saying that "raising" taxes would
put people out of business in order to save education.
They got it
wrong. It’s Idaho kids who will be "out of business" when they
try to enter a market where good jobs require a higher degree of education
than the one they will receive. It’s Idaho businesses that will be
"out of luck" when forced to meet global competition with a
poorly prepared workforce.
trumpeting frugality, the GOP elephant should hang its head in shame.