Make a choice to support students

Print Article

On March 8, Bonner County voters will have a choice to make. On that day we can choose to renew the expiring school levy. As the parent of two high school students, I feel both a right and a responsibility to address the levy issue.

My two daughters got their elementary school education at a private Christian school here in Sandpoint and received an excellent education. Since then they transitioned to the middle school and the high school here in Sandpoint. I have been overwhelmingly pleased and impressed by the level of commitment, competence, and dedication on the part of teachers and administrators

Our graduation rate is impressive; this year alone, we have four high school seniors who are National Merit finalists, an amazing accomplishment for our small town and relatively small school.

It is not the Idaho way to spend money on lavish school buildings — just take a walk through the middle school. No one here gets rich in the school system. On the other hand, it seems that we spend our money where it counts, on teachers.

The teachers who teach here are definitely committed. If they worked across the border in Washington their pay would be at least 25 percent higher.

 Over the past five years, the high school has reduced staffing by 13 certified teachers, so they are already trying to make do on limited resources.

Students are sharing buses for athletic events, and the school has reduced classroom field trips. Many of the extracurricular activities we see highlighted in the newspaper are financed privately, by local foundations and donations. If the levy is not renewed, we face the loss of funding for one-third of our teaching staff, with the potential increase in class size to more than 35 students per class.

Idaho ranks in the bottom two states in the U.S. for educational funding per student. In addition, our school district has the second lowest school tax per assessed valuation in the state. No one, myself included, likes to pay taxes, and it seems to me that there should at some point be adjustments to the tax system to make it more fair and progressive. Nonetheless, we need to operate within the present system to maintain our present level of school funding.

There is no question that times are hard, but they have been hard before as well. Our state has survived good times and bad. The writers of the Constitution for the state of Idaho thought education to be so important that the right to education was included in our constitution.

One hears the founding fathers referred to frequently these days. One of our most educated founders, Thomas Jefferson, noted that our democracy would not survive without an educated populace. Next Tuesday the voters in Bonner County have a chance to renew our commitment to education, and show our children that we care about their future. Vote yes to renew the levy. Without a good education, our children face a diminished future.

DAN MEULENBERG, M.D.

Sandpoint

Print Article

Read More News

Taiwan president, pressed by Beijing, pledges more security

AP

May 19, 2018 at 9:52 pm | TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan's president said Sunday her government will step up security measures to respond to military threats from China. President Tsai Ing-wen gave no details in comments po...

Comments

Read More

Association sets cemetery meeting

May 19, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee WESTMOND — The annual meeting of the Westmond Cemetery Association is set for Thursday, June 7. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the cemetery. ...

Comments

Read More

Work forcing Upland closure

May 19, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — Bonner County’s waste collection site on Upland Drive is set to close on Thursday, May 24. The closure will remain in effect until further notice to accommodate paving and construction n...

Comments

Read More

Sports betting venues could be boon to Idaho

May 19, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press This is the second of a two-part series looking at the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that tossed out a 1992 law banning sports gambling in all but a few locations in the country. Today we’ll loo...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2018 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X