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The Adams County Record
Council, Idaho
October 24, 2012     The Adams County Record
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October 24, 2012

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Page 4 Wednesday, October 24, 2012 The Adams County Record Commissioner Brown Honored Continued from front page the financial burden on local governments for inspection fees. Brown also testified before the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) for several years in support public health advocate policy decisions and we and construction of a of the State General Fund in Commissioner Brown. commend his service" state-of-the art public budget allocation for Through his wisdom said Krosch. health clinic in Canyon all seven public health and leadership, he has Krosch added that County to serve the districts in Idaho. led our health board Brown was instrumental growing population and "Adams County has through many years of in approving the replace a 71-year old a powerful leader and important public health purchase of property facility. Ground was broken in the height of the recession to provide employment during the down economy and to recognize cost savings becadse construction materials were less. Editor&apos;s Notebook How will you vote on Proposition 3? This is the third and last article on the "Students Come First" propositions that will come before Idaho voters on November 6. Again, "proponents" refers to those who advocate a "yes" vote to preserve the Students Come First laws passed last year by the Idaho legislature. "Opponents" refers to those who advocate a "no" vote repealing the legislation. The state attorney's summary statement for Prop 3: "Referendum to approve or reject legislation amending Academy" and "public school technology and expenditures or distributions of moneys for such 7 It also deals with ways of calculating fractional average daily attendance and "postsecondary institutions being authorized to operate public charter high schools:' It requires public posting, online, of annual school budgets and labor agreements. One point that opponents make about Proposition 3 is a point they make about all three propositions - that it is a top-down program that school district funding, reduces local control. requiring provision of Effects on students computing devices and Few, if any, teachers online courses for high or administrators are school graduation" opposed to the use of Even though the only modern technology in parts of Proposition the classroom. In fact 3 that are usually schools are already using mentioned in the media computers extensively. are requirements for The Students Come laptops (or other portable First requirements have computing devices) and" brought about some required online courses, significant advances that there is much more to schools like. Even so this referendum. The some opponents say the Proposition contains new policies have actually at least 8 references to decreased funding for financial matters, such technology in some ways. as teacher salaries, Opponents say Prop "obligations to the public 3 trades teachers for employee retirement computers. Computers system andsocial security; can't diagnose a learning "moneys distributed to the problem, develop critical Idaho Digital Learning thinking skills, or motivate a child to get excited about learning. Proponents say that .today's students have lived their entire lives in the information age, and Idaho's schools must change with the times to meet the needs and capture the interest of 21st century learners. In the 21st century classroom, learning is not limited by walls, bell schedules, school calendars, or geography. When Idaho students graduate and go on to further their education or to enter the workforce, they will need the skills to learn and worl< in a digital environment to be successful. Proponents say the new laws allow all Idaho students to have equal access to quality classes, and highly effective teachers no matter where they live in the state. Small schools like the ones in Adams County will be able to offer a bigger variety of classes because they can receive instruction via remote classroom technology. The new provisions make it possible for high school juniors and seniors to earn up to 36 dual college or professional-technical credits at no cost to the student or their "families. But opponents, claim Idaho has one of the slowest Internet speeds in the nation, and the problem is worse in rural areas. Yet Proposition 3 requires students in every part of the state' to take at least two online courses to graduate. With Internet access what it is today in Idaho, this law puts many students at a disadvantage, setting them up to fail. It worries teachers and parents that not all students do well with online classes. It takes self- discipline and motivation. According to a local school official, "Kids who like to learn and are motivated do great! Not everybody is going to do well in that environment because many kids do need the prompting from a teacher, and they do need to ask questions in real time:' Money matters Proponents say the new laws repeal a program that double-funded the same student in multiple school districts, saving about $6 million a year. State per-pupil funding now follows the student, providing students greater educational opportunities and educational choices. The state allocates money according to a school's Average Daily Attendance (ADA). Under the new rules, if a student takes Idaho Digital Learning Academy (IDEA) classes, for instance, money for that class time goes to IDEA, even though VERN the local school enrolls the student and pays associated facility expenses. The "double funding" charge is based on the fact that the state previously paid ADA money to the local school even if a student took an IDEA course. The $6 million figure is what the state spent on IDEA, so they want to stop subsidizing it and make the school districts pay for all IDEA expenses. There is a lot of private money to be made in this way, and opponents say this undermines local schools. Schools encourage kids to take outside courses because it expands curriculum, but one area school official said about Prop 3: "It requires schools/students to take on-line courses and then penalizes schools by taking 2/3 of the funding for each student taking an on-line course and giving it to the on-line provider. It appears that this portion of the law is moving us towards a "voucher" system -- not because it is better, but because it would save the state money:' Opponents of Proposition 3 say it puts our students last, and puts big computer and online education corporations first. It uses tax dollars to fund unaccountable online education companies. One of the online course LUDWIG FOR ADAMS COUNTY SHERIFF VERN LUDWIG YOUR INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE FOR ADAMS COUNTY SHERIFF INTEGRITY HARDWORKING HONEST LEADERSHIP LOCAL FAIR FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY "Determined to restore confidence and leadership in Adams County so that we can have the protecffon that our ciffzens deserve while maintaining a balanced budget." PAID FOR BY THE COMMITTEE TO ELECT VERN LUDWIG FOR SHERIFF, LINDA BONDS TREASURER .................... ................... " _" - - -. - -_ - - -_-_- -_- -_- -_-_-_- - -_-.- - - - . -.. . providers that benefits most from requiring all students to take on-line courses is Idaho's largest online course provider: K12 Inc. The company is being sued for alleged lying about student performance and deceptive recruiting practices (Washington Post, January 31, 2012). They were even caught 1 ? Friday MondaY Cattle Sale Butcher Cattle Sale IO:CO AM 1o:oo AM "(i 2rid & 4th Saturday ".)f :( Pigs, shccp, and goats n:oo AM JII 1901 E. ('hi(.a+o, C+ddwel], hlaho (]iP '0459-7475 T<)I1 Free 1-8(X)-78442.q sending students' English essays overseas to reviewers in India for grading. This is using our taxpayer dollars to outsource Idaho teaching jobs and our students' education to another country. Superintendent Luna received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the companies that now stand to make millions selling computer equipment and services to the state (Idaho Statesman, February 20, 2011). Luna has said Students Come First increases the state's-minimum teacher salary to $30,000, and that the legislature further increased the minimum teacher salary to $30,500 this legislative session. However, two years ago a beginning teacher's salary was $31,750 and last year it was $29,600. Opponents say current law forces local schools to spend tax dollars on expensive, unproven technology before they spend money on essentials like reducing class sizes, purchasing basic classroom supplies, or protecting student safety. Because this state mandate was left largely unfunded by the legislature, it could lead to higher property taxes for all of us. On this subject, Luna spokeswoman Melissa McGrath has pointed out that the first year is funded, and because it is now state law, the legislature is required to fund the mandates in future years or rewrite those sections of the law. As a result, she says, the cost of the program could not be shifted to local districts and local property taxes.