In an editorial titled, "Why come to Idaho?" the University of Idaho Argonaut says Gov. Butch Otter and lawmakers are doing long-term damage to education.
"The reality of the situation is Otter, along with Idaho legislators, only live so long," writes Kelsey Samuels on behalf of the paper's editorial board. "Our generation will have to put up with their choices long after they are gone, and we will have our work cut out for us in putting the state’s higher education system back together."
The editorial, published Monday, credits Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna for his new proposal to tap $58 from the public school endowment to limit cuts to K-12 education.
The paper also notes the "Go on" public relations campaign funded by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, which urges students to get higher education after high school.
"There's not a whole lot of incentive for students to 'go on' when the governor puts education on the back burner," writes Samuels.
Samuels, a senior journalism major, graduated from Coeur d'Alene's Lake City High School in 2006. She is the Argonaut's managing editor and production manager.
The full text follows:
Our View: Why come to Idaho?
State government puts education on back burner despite higher enrollment
Retention and enrollment rates are up at the University of Idaho for the second consecutive year, yet the state has cut funding numerous times under the advisement of Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.
UI has done its job by getting students to fill seats, and the state needs to do its job by funding the university and giving students a reason to return.
UI has 320 more students than in Spring 2009, including 81 more transfer students. College of Western Idaho, which opened last January, is the newest community college in Idaho. It will undoubtedly bring more transfer students to UI — students who need a place to finish their four-year degree. What message is the state sending to prospective transfer students who want to further their education?
The reality of the situation is Otter, along with Idaho legislators, only live so long. Our generation will have to put up with their choices long after they are gone, and we will have our work cut out for us in putting the state’s higher education system back together.
Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna is one of the few members of state government who has it right.
He proposes an additional $58 million in revenues to help public K-12 schools from the Public Schools Earnings Reserve Fund.
He sees the importance of education and can draw the conclusion that without solid primary instruction, our state’s children will have difficulties even making it to college.
The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation has spent $3 million on a campaign encouraging higher education saying, “High school is only the beginning: Go on.”
There’s not a whole lot of incentive for students to “go on” when the governor puts education on the back burner.
The editorial is online at: http://www.uiargonaut.com/content/view/9472/49/
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