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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of February 19 - 25, 2003


Four-day school week?

Here’s an idea of questionable genius from the Idaho Legislature: the four-day school week.

House Education Committee Chairman Fred Tilman said the committee would consider cutting the school week for the rest of the year to balance the state budget.

Get out the dunce hats.

Other brilliant options on the table include reducing the state’s share of bus costs and increasing class sizes.

The Legislature is desperately looking for ways to deal with budget and revenue shortfalls estimated at $160 million—without rolling back the $123 million "permanent" income tax decrease approved two years ago.

Let’s see. Instead of doing the right thing, taking whatever political heat is generated and "raising" taxes, legislators would entertain the idea of cutting the kids’ education by 20 percent. If cuts in the school week become permanent, Idaho students could see their education shortened by nearly two and a half years.

What would the Legislature have parents and businesses do? Can the four-day workweek be far behind?

If parents are working, who will mind the kids? We can’t wait to hear the legislators’ suggestions to parents and communities suddenly faced with school-age children with no place to go.

We’re looking forward to their advice for businesses that may face disruptions when parents must choose between working and caring for their children at home.

We look forward to their solutions for getting Idaho kids into colleges that demand high school diplomas that reflect 12 years of work.

If legislators don’t kill this dumb idea fast, they should replace the state motto, "Esto Perpetua" (Let it be perpetual), with one that better reflects modern Idaho. Our nomination: "Duh?"


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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.