Well, I just read the McCleary II Opinion and as a parent of an 8th grader in the most over-crowded school (Twin Falls Middle School) in one of the most over-crowded (and under-funded) school districts in the United States, I am deeply offended. Both the Legislature and the Supreme Court admit that the Legislature is violating the State Constitution. However, the legislature does next to nothing and the Supreme Court is willing to allow the legislature to continue to violate the State Constitution all the way until my daughter graduates from high school. Imagine a person getting a speeding ticket and telling the judge they promise to stop violating the law seven years down the road – and the judge saying OK! Justice delayed is justice denied. Both the legislature and the Supreme Court are trampling on our State Constitution and ignoring their oath of office.
Our State used to be 11th in the nation in school funding. We are now about 45th in the nation as a percent of income. National average school funding is 5% of income. Our State spends 4% of income on schools. The difference is several billion dollars per year being robbed from our children. On top of this, we now have a $20 billion school repair and construction backlog and one of the highest percentages in the nation of kids forced to attend school in particle board boxes – all because the legislature refuses to build REAL schools.
The problem is $45 billion annually in tax breaks to corporations and billionaires – a number that is 300% higher than it was in 2000 – and will continue to rise for many more years thanks to the legislature granting another $9 billion in tax breaks to Boeing a few weeks ago. Billionaires in our State pay less than one percent of their income in State taxes (versus a national average of 7% for billionaires and 10% for the rest of us). Until this corrupt and unconstitutional give away to billionaires stops, it will not be possible to fund the public schools. Meanwhile Madsen did not even mention the Boeing Blackmail giveaway in her latest ruling. Shame on the entire Legislature and even more shame on our Supreme Court for letting them continue to get away with it! In my opinion, the entire lot of them should be voted out of office and replaced with people who will honor the State Constitution and restore adequate school funding NOW TODAY IMMEDIATELY, not several years down the road.
David Spring M. ED.
Parent and Democratic Party PCO North Bend