The Idaho constitution states that no public money can be given to support any sectarian entity or school (Article IX, Sec 5). Nevertheless, my opponent voted for H590, a bill that authorized private scholarships paid by grants and gifts, and awarding tax credits to the donors. These scholarships may be used in private and even religious schools. And the tax credits would reduce State revenue available.
Our public schools are just getting by. 94 of our 114 districts require extra local property tax money to stay open. In 2016 and 2017, Idaho was 51st in the nation in per student funding. Despite claims of “great funding”, with the cuts that happened during the great recession, we are only back to 2009 levels.
The legislature granted a $230 million tax cut last session. Besides being unconstitutional, H590 could lower revenue even more.
I think our kids and schools deserve better.
-John Rusche, MD