Idahoans are teaching Supt. Tom Luna a lesson in politics that he won’t forget anytime soon, yes sir. Legislators are taking apart his proposed education-reform plan piece by piece, to the delight of the Idaho Education Association, teachers, student protesters and a few editorial writers.
Yep, that ought to teach him to sneak in a radical proposal like this after an election campaign. He might think about getting rid of any silly notions about running for governor.
Idahoans spoke, legislators are listening, and the message is this: “We don’t want no changes to our education system.”
Power to the People!
So as everybody seems to be dancing on the grave of his proposals, the question becomes: What now?
The superintendent came into this legislative session telling Idahoans that we must make some dramatic fundamental changes in our educational system to make it fit with our economic conditions and, more importantly, to keep Idaho students competitive. Luna had to know that people wouldn’t like phasing out teacher tenure, merit pay and requiring students to take online classes. But he also knows that the status quo won’t work, either. Gone are the days when the Legislature grants automatic increases in the budget for public schools.
Idahoans have done a pretty good job talking about what they don’t want, but are falling short in conveying what they do want. There may be talk (from Democrats and a few editorial writers) about a wave of new tax increases to fund education. But don’t hold your breath. The Republican majority, particularly in the House, will never go for it.
So the ultimate solution in this session is to impose deeper cuts in education and make school districts, teachers and students suffer even more.
How do ya like that, Tom Luna?