Friday, March 11, 2011

Another broken promise

Idaho state Rep. Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly, stood up taxpayers in Blaine County on Wednesday.

In doing so, he again broke a promise to a district with one of the best reputations for good education in Idaho.

He broke a promise to Blaine County's hardworking taxpayers who consistently vote to support good schools.

Two weeks ago, Roberts agreed to travel here for a public meeting on a bill he authored that would put the lion's share of the Blaine County School District's budget under the guillotine once every two years even though the 2006 Legislature had promised to protect it.

The bill was passed by the House and is now before the Senate.

The meeting had been advertised and publicized, and was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. At 3:35 p.m., a Roberts spokesman e-mailed the School District a statement that said that because of "the current demands of the Legislature" Roberts couldn't attend.

The demands of the Legislature that day included approving merit pay for teachers without any way to pay for it short of cutting the number of teachers in the classroom. That was in the morning.

If he'd come to Blaine County, Roberts could have explained why Republicans think wrecking schools and depriving students of a good education is OK even if it saps the Sun Valley area's economic vitality by making it less attractive for businesses to locate and operate here.

Roberts could have faced the patrons of the area's good schools and businesses and tried to convince them of the wisdom of the state's brute-forcing counties into having bad schools.

Hiding out in Boise surely was easier.

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