Mr. Luna Plays Politics with Idaho Teachers

Thanks, Sally.



Yesterday’s comments from Superintendent Tom Luna about JFAC’s funding boost to schools and teachers is a bit of a flip flop. 

With the referendum on the 3 Luna laws looming this fall, Mr. Luna is playing politics with Idaho teachers. He is backing off his stance to drastically reduce teacher salaries in order to fund laptops for every high school student and his pay-for-performance formula because he knows it is politically unpalatable.

Meanwhile, the legislature – with Luna doing nothing to publicly oppose it – provides 36 million dollars of tax relief to corporations and the wealthiest Idahoans.  While virtually every state office is underfunded, social services suffer from lack of funds, and schools are in desperate need – is this called leadership?

Across the state school districts are forced to pass supplemental levies and increase property taxes just to maintain the status quo. Teachers spend from their own meager incomes to purchase learning resources which the district can’t afford, veteran teachers retire early or leave for adjoining states where quality in education is prized and responsible leadership exists, class sizes escalate, teacher workloads increase, and electives like art and music are dropped from school curriculums.

Idaho continues among the worst in graduation rates, post-secondary enrollments, and funding. Thanks to the ill-conceived Luna laws and remarkably inept leadership at the state level, Idaho’s public schools continue to deteriorate. Come November, will we, the people, rid ourselves of the Luna laws, and elect a legislature which cares about people rather than party and power?

CONTACT:  Travis Manning, Executive Director, Common Sense Democracy Foundation

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