Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Education

Idaho Educators Protest Low Funding

By William Snider — February 12, 1986 2 min read

More than 20 school districts in Idaho canceled classes on the last Friday in January, as several thousand educators and their supporters marched on the Capitol in Boise to protest what one characterized as a “crumbling educational infrastructure.”

The demonstration called the public’s attention to the plight of Idaho’s schools and “energized the spirits” of supporters of education in the recession-battered state, said Donald L. Rollie, executive director of the Idaho Education Association, I an affiliate of the National Education Association.

For the third straight year, lawmakers have proposed increases in public-education funding that have barely kept pace with the rate of inflation, according to one state official. Legislators have not been able to find money to fund a reform package passed in 1984.

Idaho ranked 48th among the states in per-pupil expenditures last year, according to N.E.A. estimates.

“The big battle is between those who see that we have to rebuild our infrastructure and those who say we can’t increase taxes because to do so in a down economy is cruel,” said Mr. Rollie.

“At the moment,” he said, “those who want to use the Band-Aid-and-bubble-gum approach are ahead.” Gov. John V. Evans has proposed that lawmakers increase funding for public education by $16 million, a 3.5 percent increase over the current year’s appropriation. (See Education Week, Jan. 22, 1986.)

But revenue shortfalls--the result of continuing recession in the state’s agriculture, lumber, and mining industries--make it unlikely that lawmakers will support an increase of that size, according to Gordon Fisher, the legislature’s public-school-budget adviser.

The Governor’s proposed 1987 budget-which most characterize as conservative-would require $50-million in new revenues, but lawmakers have already reinforced their longstanding opposition to tax increases by defeating two new revenue bills this year.

However, observers say that this time the lawmakers are likely to increase the state sales tax from 4 percent to 5 percent, although they will probably have to extend their 60-day session to work out the details.

Meanwhile, conservative legislators have introduced several bills affecting education, including measures that would:

  • Restrict the collective-bargaining rights of school employees to exclude areas such as calendars, scheduling, working conditions, academic freedom, and curriculum development.
  • Mandate that curricula give balanced treatment to the theories of creationism and evolution.
  • Make illegal the teaching of homosexuality as an appropriate life style.
  • Create textbook-adoption committees at the state and local district levels.

“My guess is that little of the conservative agenda will be successful,” said Mr. Rollie, “but in the best-case scenario, we’ll see state agencies getting only a 2 percent increase for maintenance and current operations.”

A version of this article appeared in the February 12, 1986 edition of Education Week

Events

Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
The 4 Biggest Challenges of MTSS During Remote Learning: How Districts Are Adapting
Leaders share ways they have overcome the biggest obstacles of adapting a MTSS or RTI framework in a hybrid or remote learning environment.
Content provided by Panorama Education
Student Well-Being Online Summit Keeping Students and Teachers Motivated and Engaged
Join experts to learn how to address teacher morale, identify students with low engagement, and share what is working in remote learning.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Join us for our NBOE 2021 Winter Teacher Virtual Interview Fair!
Newark, New Jersey
Newark Public Schools
Join us for our NBOE 2021 Winter Teacher Virtual Interview Fair!
Newark, New Jersey
Newark Public Schools
Superintendent, Dublin Unified School District
Dublin, California (US)
Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates
Superintendent, Dublin Unified School District
Dublin, California (US)
Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read