Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Luna Laws are economic blunder

I have reservations about Propositions 1 and 2, but I will use my limited space to discuss Proposition 3.

First, some background on Mr. Tom Luna. During his 2010 re-election campaign, Mr. Luna often referred to the great shape of Idaho’s schools under his leadership. Yet within seven weeks of the election, Mr. Luna was putting forth sweeping education reforms that were never mentioned during his campaign.  

I would like to discuss Proposition 3 from an economic perspective, comparing the creation and loss of jobs. The city of Twin Falls recently worked very hard using the urban renewal and tax-increment financing laws to bring Chobani Yogurt to the Magic Valley. Chobani will bring an estimated 450 to 500 jobs to the Twin Falls area. Yet in one move, the Legislature, with the urging of Mr. Luna, cut approximately 800 jobs. The loss of these jobs affected our teachers, the tax-paying leaders of Idaho communities.

Where will the bulk of the money saved from eliminating teachers go? This money will fund the out-of-state computer and for-profit online education companies. The same companies that provided more than $100,000 to Luna’s campaign fund in 2010.  I suspect these are the same companies that skirted around the Idaho campaign finance laws in order to anonymously contribute $200,000 to the Vote Yes on Proposition 1, 2 and 3 campaign. 

Thirty-three years in education (17 years as a middle school principal) taught me the value of a quality teacher in the classroom. Everyone can remember that special teacher who made a difference in their lives. Will a laptop do that? Even a recent TV ad campaign by Exxon Mobil states research regarding the importance of well-trained teachers in the classroom.

Vote no on Propositions 1, 2 and 3.

Greg Lanting 


Twin Falls



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