Students Come First: Outspent Idaho GOP plays the victim

Those poor Idaho Republicans.

They’re not used to getting crazy outspent in a high-profile election. That happens to other people. (I’m looking at you, Idaho Democrats.)

But I must give those poor, destitute, desperate Idaho Republicans their due. Faced with a rare opportunity to play the woe-is-us angle, they rallied nicely and almost seemed to savor the moment.

Funded almost exclusively by national and state teachers’ unions, Vote No on Proposition 1, 2, 3 raised $1.38 million through Sept. 30. The groups pushing to uphold Students Come First, state Superintendent Tom Luna’s K-12 overhaul, reported a combined $501,000.

And so, on Thursday, the supporters went into victim mode.

Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot — one of the deepest pockets supporting Students Come First — vowed to dig deeper. Gov. Butch Otter attached his name to a particularly breathless news release quote, conjuring memories of Idaho’s bitter right-to-work election of 1986.

“Big Labor has been targeting Idaho for decades, since our voters rejected union scare tactics and enacted our right to work law,” said Otter. “I trust the people of Idaho — our own school patrons, parents and community leaders — to do the right thing and once again reject union scare tactics from these checkbook bullies.”

Hold tight to your milk money. The checkbook bullies are coming to the schoolyard.

Hyperbole aside, the proponents scored a good tactical point. For every 3 cents individual donors have put into the opposition kitty, the unions kicked in 97. For all practical purposes, this is a union campaign — and when Students Come First supporters paint it as such, they aren’t stretching the truth in the slightest. Given Idaho voters’ skepticism about unions — illustrated by the decisive right-to-work vote — this is a drum supporters can pound relentlessly until Nov. 6.

But neither is it a stretch to paint the pro-Students Come First campaign as a subsidiary of the GOP. By my count, 23 sitting legislators, all Republicans, contributed to Yes for Idaho Education, the leading group supporting the laws. Reliably Republican Melaleuca kicked in $50,000, Coeur d’Alene-based Hagedone Hospitality added $15,000 and the Idaho GOP contributed $10,000.

Based on what we now know from the sunshine reports, voters can decide who they trust: the teachers’ unions seeking to stop these laws, or the Republicans who helped push this plan into law in the first place.

Then again, there’s only so much we know about the money race. We know that Parents for Education Reform, the group directed by former legislator and longtime Otter ally Debbie Field, received $200,350 from an unidentified source or sources that gave to Education Voters of Idaho.

This mystery group remains a contentious matter. Secretary of State Ben Ysursa says the donors must identify themselves. Spokesman John Foster says Education Voters of Idaho is a nonprofit group not subject to disclosure laws.

An aside: With this, Foster cements his place as one of the most enigmatic figures in Idaho politics. First, the former state Democratic Party executive director and Walt Minnick aide aligned with the GOP side on Students Come First. Second, Foster is now an advocate for shy campaign donors — even though the former journalist has lobbied on behalf of the Idaho Press Club, and normally is on the side of the angels on matters of transparency.

Whatever becomes of the disputed Education Voters of Idaho donation — and Foster says the spending is on hold — let’s put things in perspective.

• While the fundraising gap is huge, cash on hand is almost a dead heat. Yes for Idaho Education reports $52,179.13, No on Propositions 1, 2, 3 reports $54,176.31. If you feel like you’ve been inundated by ads blasting Students Come First, there’s a good reason: Opponents raised, and spent, a ton of loot.

• More importantly, there’s still a long way to go in the dash for cash. Watch for the next fundraising report, due one week before the election. That will tell a lot about how the unions and Idaho Republican donors respond to this week’s news.

It may have seemed like Students Come First supporters were in a panic Thursday. If so, it was premeditated panic — fully aimed at getting supporters to step up and pay up between now and Election Day.

Republicans may be unfamiliar with playing the role of the underfunded underdog. But that doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re doing.

"Our own school patrons, parents and community leaders"

You mean, teachers? Poor Butch. Every time he opens his mouth, something stupid comes out.

Read some of the Master Contracts...they're an eye-opener...

The union ads claim teachers negotiate for school supplies, class size and student safety. Yet, none of the local school districts include that in their contract.

How can that be? Unless, the ads amount to a bald-faced lie.

Nampa School District's Master Contract:

Boise School District's Master Contract:

Meridian School District's Master Contract:

The Nampa School District still hasn't finished negotiations for 2012 - 2013. Take a look at how much bantering is involved:

Here's a classic example of union BS:

"Should any or all of the propositions 1, 2 and/or 3 be defeated in the November election, a reopener of negotiations will occur within 30 days of the defeat of the proposition(s)."

They're going to immediately turn around and needle taxpayers for everything they can get!!!

These props fix the unnecessary costs the union injects into the public education system. They're fighting for their survival and they're well-aware of that fact!!!

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!!

Those contracts were negotiated on Prop 1 rules

You wouldn't find that stuff because Prop 1 wouldn't let associations negotiate that stuff this year.

You selling waterfront property too?

It wasn't in there in 2010 either but you already knew that.

Funny how union members do nothing but fabricate excuses--never supported by facts.

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!

Time for you to come clean

Its obvious you are a paid employee of one of the groups in favor on 1, 2 & 3. Why not come clean, disclose who you are and you might even gain some credibility.

You got nuthin'

I've been accused of so many things now it's rather pathetic. Union shills can't come up with anything original so you revert to being thugs. That's one common characteristic of union members.

But, I'll play along just for the fun of it!

Other commenters have determined:

1) I'm Tom Luna

2) If I'm not then I'm one of Tom Luna's relatives

3) I'm Melissa McGrath

4) I have a weights and measures degree from a prestigious online university and received a 4.0 (plus or minus 1) grade point average

5) I'm paid to post comments while simultaneously working my real job

6) I get paid by the number of comments I post each day

7) While not a licensed therapist, I'm a graduate of several 12-step programs and doggonit, I like me.

8) I have a doctorate in Wikipeiaology

9) I am the teachers' union antagonist

10) I'm pro-SCF and I vote

11) I'm JamesGatz son and he's my Gramps

12) I read school district master contracts with the teachers' unions...and understand them.

Obviously, you're paid to oppose the SCF laws. Paid by whom? Well, by the NEA and IEA teachers' unions. You do realize those same unions paid people to gather signatures just to get the laws on the ballot in November, don't you?!?

Got any comments of substance or just more accusations?!?

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!

With the number of multple account posters here, could be all.


Celebrating five years and one screen ID >|<

you're wrong

Kevin - It is unfair to say individuals kicked in only 3 percent of the donations for the no campaign when a good share of the other 97 % came form the Idaho Education Association dues, which are paid for by TEACHERS. Teachers are paid very little in Idaho, many of them do not have the means to both pay their union dues and contribute to the campaign - their dues are a contribution.

you're wrong

Pendleton - Teachers are not paid too poorly in Idaho. The lowest paid full time teacher in my children's Boise elementary school makes over $50K/year.


So are you saying that every teacher at your kid's school has been there for many years? Starting pay is right around 31K in Boise schools as a teacher. Takes a little while to get to 50K+.
31K as a teacher is horrible pay, especially since a lot of them have to purchase some supplies with their own money.

Details, facts please...

"purchase some supplies with their own money"

Tell us, are those supplies pencils, paper, kleenex and the like? Those items are the individual student's parents' responsibility. Stop whining about it and approach those parents.

Fact: Teachers do NOT buy books for the core curriculum.

Maybe you should consider the economic reality Idaho residents are facing. Once you do, being a teacher whom has to really screw up to even get fired isn't such a bad gig after all.

Starting pay at $33,000+ (BSD) isn't bad. And, there are numerous monetary incentives to continue your education. By the way, why did you understate the starting pay? The Boise School District Master Contract link contains the truth:

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!

What about the kid

whose mother is a drug addict and spends all of her money to get her fix? Should teachers ignore the kids in need and pretend like said kid has his supplies every day?

What about the family who is legitimately trying to make ends meet but falls short? The kids under the poverty line are just as important as the ones whose parents can buy them pens and pencils.

What about projects that require something extra in the classroom: construction paper, extra glue, markers, index cards, etc., that you are not allowed to ask students to bring in? Especially in high school or junior high school, where kids don't get sent home with school supply lists? Or do I just stick with traditional paper and pen assignments, when research has been proven to show that when a student is engaged with a fun activity, they learn more? How does an effective teacher tackle this issue?

99.99% of the parents I have worked with do supply their children with the things they need to be successful in school, however, there are people who are so far into poverty or have other issues that kids do not get what they need in order to be successful in the classroom. For those kids, what are teachers supposed to do? Just ignore the issue? Make a big deal out of the fact that this student doesn't have supplies and ask him to "borrow one from a neighbor" every day? Or should we spare this kid some humiliation and just pend the $20-30 needed to get him set up so he doesn't have to explain it to anyone other than me? There are schools who have high poverty students who do not eat any meals except for when they are at school, which also means that these kids most likely do not have access to new school clothes or school supplies. Just a thought.

This year, at the beginning of the school year, the school's supply cabinet literally did not have important things like staples, tape, red pens,or pencils for TEACHER USE. This was because the school could not afford to buy supplies. What do I do then? Do I forget that I need office supplies to to my job, and just to a horrible job? I'm sure I'd be losing said job because of lack of doing said job if I hadn't bought supplies like that for my room.

....and TowM8tr, until this year, for over ten years, starting teacher pay HAS BEEN $31,750 for teachers in the Boise School District. Many districts are under this number, or they're still at $31,750. Teacher are expected to go into debt to earn credits to advance their pay, and at the beginning, the credits don't even pay for themselves. I actually make LESS money now teaching, as a fourth year teacher, than I did working at a grocery store as a checker. My boss didn't even have a high school diploma, and he made about $50k. So teachers' pay isn't "that bad?" Again, starting teacher pay is below the poverty level in Idaho. This is a so-called "professional" job, one which required the minimum of a bachelor's degree and a license.

Union dues or school supplies? Choices..choices...

Consider this:

The BSD can afford to pay the union president's salary and compensate teachers for attending union meetings but it can't--according to you--buy school supplies for teachers?!?

Conclusion: There's the problem!!! BSD Administration has its priorities reversed! Union first, students last.

The school my son attends asks parents to buy extra supplies. Those supplies go into a "pool" and are made available for other students. So, yes, you can ask parents to help. Haven't you ever tried it? You can't ask taxpayers to cover the parents shortfall.

That's the truth the union doesn't want anyone to realize. They might get-away with deceiving some voters but their worst enemy is an informed voter. Informed voters can figure it out. Informed voters know the union has managed to steal, yes, steal, taxpayer money.

You want to be a union member? Pay for it out of your OWN pocket.

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!

School supplies are tax deductible for teachers

This legislation removes the prohibition allowing the deduction of cl*ssroom supplies and other
expenses not to exceed $250.00 of elementary and secondary teachers otherwise allowable under
Section 62 (a) (2) (D) of the Internal Revenue Code.
It is estimated that the fiscal impact to the general fund would be approximately $275,000.

HB 517 was signed into law and made retroactive until January 1, 2012, so you could take this deduction on your tax returns this year.

As for your claim that $31,750 is a poor starting salary for a teacher, it is right in line with entry-level positions for most college majors with a 4-year degree, the primary exception being engineering majors.

Isn't that why there are foster homes? What kind of post is ???

You're digging deep for your metaphors, friend.


Celebrating five years and one screen ID >|<

Broken your

Broken your putting up false links to support your disinformation?

No, the link isn't broken

But the Statesman adds to it and that will break it. If you copy then paste the link, you have to remove the portion the STatesman's site adds to the link: more here:

From the "Read more here:..." and on needs to be deleted.

We are not allowed to ask

We are not allowed to ask the parents in our school district to buy any supplies. The supply budget is inadequate, so we pick and choose what we ask the district to buy. I hunt the ads for good deals on crayons, folders, notebooks and pens, and other items, then purchase several class sets.

I don't know what the Boise School District pays, only what my district pays, and that is $31,500 for most teachers.

We have no math books at the elementary level in our district, so any materials we need are paid for by teachers. Therefore, your Fact, TowM8r, is not a fact.

You keep saying that opponents of the Props are not telling the truth, but it is you, TowM8r, who is lying.

Puhlease..."we're not allowed to ask"...BS!!!

Whose lying now...?

Attention Parents: This list represents the supplies your child needs for a good
school year beginning. However, these items may need to be replenished

From time to time, you may be asked to make small donations to help your
school provide culturally enriching programs and field trips.
S.O.S.: Sharing Of Supplies by purchasing extras and leaving them at the
Principal's office will help children less fortunate.

Are your pants on fire? :)

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!

I don't teach in Boise.

Check out the supply lists for Caldwell Elementary Schools. You won't be able to because there are no supply lists. Again, we are not allowed to ask parents to send school supplies. If a parent asks what we need, we can tell them, but believe me, very few do.

You need to look beyond Boise for your "facts."

What do you gain by lying?

You know you're a union member if....

You claim you can't ask parents to buy school supplies!!!!

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!!

Have you lost your mind, TowM8r?

Those links don't even work. I DO work at one of the schools in Caldwell, and we do not ask parents to provide school supplies. Since you obviously won't take my word for it, here's a challenge: Call up one of the elementary schools in Caldwell on Monday and ask the secretary for a supply list. Then get back to me.

The links just have to know how to use them...

The Statesman's site adds more to the link. You have to remove it: more here:

Remove the italic text from the link (after you paste it into your browser). it'll take you right to the supplies document.

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!

Already tried that.

But it is quite ludicrous that you keep insisting to a school employee and parent that they made up a story about schools that don't require parents to provide student supplies. Really?

You know, it's not all that hard to admit you made a mistake. I tell my students all the time that everyone makes mistakes, and that's how we learn. It's only when we keep insisting we are right, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, that others stop taking us seriously.

OK, that's it. Time for me to stop wasting time on this silly thread.

Yep, you know best..don't you?

Washington Elementary's School Supplies list:
4th Grade
•3 Book Covers
•2 Erasable black ink pen
•24 #2 pencils (no mechanical pencils)
•1 pair of scissors
•1 pink pearl eraser or eraser tops
•2 large box of kleenex
•1 8 oz. bottle of white school glue
•1 zippered pencil bag
•1 box of colored pencils
•1 box of watercolors (prang)
•2 200-count pkg. of wide-ruled, loose-leaf paper
•1 box ziplock gallon bags
•2 spiral notebook (at least 100 pages)
•1 24-count box of crayons
•5 folders with inside pockets and prongs to attach papers
•1 12” ruler, marked with English & metric systems, preferably wooden up to the 16ths (for home use)
•1 1 ½”, 3-ring binder (NO TRAPPER KEEPERS OR BIG 3-RING BINDERS)
•1 book bag or backpack
•1 package 3x5 (100 ct) index cards
•1 soprano recorder (can be a family hand me down, may be purchased at any music store or purchased from Music Teacher

NOTE: Additional supplies may be requested from individual teachers on the first day of school. Please restrict supplies as our desks are small and only allow room for textbooks and the above items.
* Tip: Stock up for the school year during the back to school sales as supplies will need to be replenished.

Looks like you're the only one fabricating stories!

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!

Good grief!

I don't know where you are getting this. You must have found some old link from 4 or 5 years ago. Please go to the current website and find a supply list. Then copy and paste that on here. Or call Washington Elementary School. I would give you the number, but I'm not sure it's appropriate to do that on this site.

Now I know with certainty that you can use the internet to "prove" anything you want.

Can't handle the truth?

Did the teachers' union put you up to saying you buy school supplies out of your own pocket?

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!

I think the teachers's union has more important things to do

than to tell me to say I buy school supplies out of my own pocket. Did you check out the current Caldwellschools website like I asked you to?

Every year there's a list...stops short of donating blood.


Celebrating five years and one screen ID >|<

starting salary

is actually below $30,000, and something like half of Idaho teachers make that. BSD pays its teachers more.

Patently false

Thug Union propaganda. Back up your numbers or retract your statement. You have no shame.

sde numbers actually, from a couple of weeks ago

I'll look up the link and post it when my laptop is up and running again; it's virus hunting right now.

also, just for the record, not a teacher, not a union member.

in fact, it might have been the budget request, come to think of it. I was struck by the high percentage of teachers making the starting salary so it stuck in my head.

A Thug Union is called Mafia, or Yakuza or just organized crime.


Celebrating five years and one screen ID >|<

I live on SS benefits. $31 K is better than my dad made working.

At a gas station as a mechanic.

Perhaps if you lived in WEISER.


Celebrating five years and one screen ID >|<

I don't believe that for a minute.

Beginning teachers in Idaho school districts earn about $31,500, and are stuck there for years. I have taught in the Treasure Valley for 13 years and am making $43,000. If you're going to make claims like this, you'd better be able to prove it, bone2pick.

Do you think that people that get off attacking teachers

need "proof" of anything?

lol.."attacking teachers"

If there's one commonality among union members, it's this: Whenever someone disagrees with their point of view, it's because that person "hates" teachers or is "attacking" teachers.

Can't handle a fair debate so you fall back on the only thing you know.

The one scenario union bosses fear most is an informed voter. Informed voters support education reform. Informed voters know the union is siphoning off taxpayers' dollars that would otherwise be used for school supplies, student safety and class sizes.

Why else would the union use deceptive claims in their ads? From laptops to contract negotiations, the union needs a target and is having a difficult time finding one; consequently, they spew as many lies and outright deceptive claims as possible.

Go ahead, attempt to dummy-down the debate like a schoolyard bully. You look like a fool in the process.

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!!

With all due respect

it is you who is coming off like the schoolyard bully.

The rest of us are just trying to state the facts.

Then why did you understate BSD's starting pay?

It's all about spin. You want it to appear the sky is falling. When someone states the facts, you attack the messenger.

Typical thug tactics.

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!

I'm not understating their pay.

That's what the starting pay is for BSD teachers. I know- I'm trying to become one.
But people like you make me second guess my choice...

It's public information if you care to take the time to look it up.

Sure you are!! How many times do I have to post this?

$33,130 is starting pay for a teacher with 0 years experience.

Public info, imagine that.

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!


It went up from last year (was at 31 and change). Still a far cry from your over 50K claim.
33K is still a ridiculous pay wage for a teacher, no matter how you put it.

You've failed reading and 'rithmetic

No offense but I don't believe you're cut out for teaching. The first thing you have to possess is reading comprehension skills.

I didn't say teachers get paid $50K starting. That was another commenter and the words were something like, all the teachers in the school he knows get paid 50K or higher. Read bone2pick's post.

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!

Did you see where a teacher

Did you see where a teacher tops out on that pay scale? Do you know how long it takes to get there?? Years. The point is, it's a low starting pay rate. True, one of the higher ones in Idaho, but really? I know a kid with no college degree staring out at Cisco making $40K. Teachers are PROFESSIONALS with at least a Bachelors' degree. You clearly have no experience in the world of education. There are plenty who post on here that do....why are you arguing with people who have facts, and more importantly EXPERIENCE IN THE CLASSROOM, on their side? You're just an angry outsider with his nose pressed up against the glass wishing he could be in the room with the people who get it.

Entitlement mentality alert!!!

I didn't choose to be a teacher. I have a different profession. Why? Because it pays my bills, supports my family and allows me to live in relative comfort. That's what motivates me. I guarantee you, as bad as you think being a teacher is, you wouldn't want my job. I wouldn't wish it on you either. Still, there are parts of it that are truly enjoyable. Challenging? Yes. Difficult? Yes. Is it for everyone? No.

If you are a teacher in it for the money then you will undoubtedly be disappointed. If you're a teacher in it for union membership then no wonder you're disappointed.

If you're a teacher who enjoys seeing their students finally grasp a concept they previously struggled with then you're in it for the right reasons.

There's a reason Cisco pays better. Not everyone is cut out to write code for Internet routers. Few people even understand routers or how to sell them. Cisco likely can't afford to wait for the best and brightest to get a degree. They'll unabashedly head hunt any way they can. My guess is, if that "kid" didn't land a job with Cisco he/she would've landed an equivalent paying job with another company.

We all have a role to play. Unfortunately, it appears you believe you chose the wrong profession.

The only angry folks on here are the union members. They're so upset with the focus they're receiving they lash out in every way they can. It's not too unlike stirring up a hornet's nest. I'm not the one out to sting you but you'd surely do everything you could to sting me.

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!

Your posts are really quite entertaining.

Are you Tom Luna?

Where did I say being a

Where did I say being a teacher was so bad??
"Challenging? Yes. Difficult? Yes. Is it for everyone? No." Seems like you do have an inkling what it is to be a teacher. Am I one? Yes! I teach history. Am I in it for the money, no. What I am in it for, is just what you allude to: getting young minds to think critically and understand how the past has a direct influence on our present, AND I get to talk about my love of history EVERY SINGLE DAY! It's AWESOME!! I love my job!! Could you handle it? Probably not. I have to buy supplies for my room.....kleenex, pens, pencils, poster board, extra materials for enhancing the curriculum.....these things used to be covered by my school district. Haven't had that in over 4 years.
Teaching in public schools is one of the most vulnerable jobs there is. The reason is if teachers try to stand up for their profession, we're whining about "entitlements," and we're criticized for it. If we keep our mouths closed and "keep our place" then we are perceived as weak, and we're criticized for it. Rock and a hard place, right? Fair treatment by our esteemed state legislature and state superintendent is what teachers are after....(oh, but now I'm complaining), not just for teachers, but for students as well. You'd demand the exact same thing. You defend your profession, whatever that may be....don't put teachers down for defending theirs. I get that Luna believes he is doing the right thing for students....I get that. BUT, he's forgetting a critical part....he's gotta do the right thing for the teachers too. Clearly that isn't happening. VOTE NO on PROPS 1, 2, and 3!!!!

Fact vs. fiction

Fact: beginning teacher salary for the Nampa School District is $31,407 + benefits (which shrink yearly). If you would like me to post my paycheck to prove this fact I would be more than happy to.
Fiction: I am a member of a union.
Fact: I pay out of pocket for my own liability insurance.
Fiction: All parents send adequate supplies to school with their children.
Fact: I spend over $100 a month on teaching supplies such as up-to-date non-fiction and fiction books that will hold my students' interest, art supplies, incentives, stamps to send letters home to parents, crayons, paper, copies for the classroom, etc... (again, I can provide receipts)
Fiction: I get the summers off and still get paid.
Fact: In today's world technology is necessary in the classroom.
Fiction: The only way to provide adequate technology is to Vote Yes on Props 1,2, and 3
Fact: Print and copy curriculums are harder to update than those provided through digital resources.
Fiction: Curriculum provided through digital resources costs less and are more efficient than their counterparts. I may not have to pay as much for updated materials, but keeping the technology up to date and running is equally cumbersome.
Fact: The only people who can give an accurate picture of public education are those in the trenches (parents and teachers alike).
Fiction: The words and intentions behind Props 1, 2, and 3.

Your usage of "union bosses" and "thug tactics"

outs you for who you are. A troll connected to the opposition. Get some new material if you wish to be considered a viable source of information, trollster.

You got a good education and live with your mom.


I'm betting I know that personally.


Celebrating five years and one screen ID >|<