local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 last week
 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info

 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs

 email us:
 arts and events


Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8065 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 


Formula Sports


Idaho Conservation League



Gary Carr...The Carr Man!

Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

For the week of June 20 - June 26, 2001


Wimpy judge cheats Idaho kids

Fourth District Judge Deborah Bail blinked.

She told the Legislature in February to take care of the state’s crumbling schools or face a court order to do it.

Yet, by the end of its winter session the Legislature had again ducked its constitutional responsibility to guarantee equal education and safe classrooms for all Idaho kids.

It offered up only interest subsidies for school construction loans for districts with documented safety problems. It did nothing to address the backlog of millions of dollars in maintenance and repair needed by the state’s public schools.

This week, Judge Bail gave the renegade Legislature another chance—another session—to fix the schools.

That means the Legislature, which meets only in the winter, has at least another year and half before it might have to put any kind of plan in place. It means it will be far longer before Idaho kids in crummy classrooms will get any relief.

When the judge blinked, Idaho’s kids lost.

Idaho is the only state that doesn’t provide any state money for school construction, and also requires a two-thirds super-majority of local voters for passage of school construction bonds.

The judge rewarded the Legislature for stalling—the same tactic it’s used for decades of denial of its legal responsibility.

The judge failed to use the power of the bench to bring a recalcitrant Legislature to heel.

Instead of exercising the court’s power to offset the Legislature’s refusal to uphold the Idaho Constitution, the judge reduced the court to supplicant. The court is now operating on the same level as the needy school districts that have pleaded for help for years—to no avail.

Instead of honoring the court’s role as the place for people to turn when they have exhausted legislative options, Bail abandoned it in favor of playing Pattycake with the Legislature.

She told schools, kids and parents, who had already waited a decade for their day in court, they could wait some more to give her time to say "Pretty please?" to legislators—again.

Judge Bail is acting like a politician worried about re-election. She is treating the bench like a bully pulpit.

The time for negotiation expired long ago. The good judge should live up to the robe and bring the gavel down.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.