idaho property tax | HB 389

Codi Galloway: Hello. I want to talk to you today about two things that are happening down at the House, budget and education, both big topics. Last week, the House voted no on the higher education budget, and I voted no as well. That is because, after much research and study, I was able to find pervasive, significant evidence of challenges that are deep in our universities. There’s challenges with content, curriculum, transparency, and I have great concern over that. However, I do think the universities are aware of the problem. They definitely see it as a concern, and they are working hard to correct it.

I think they will, I have confidence that they will correct it, and there will be another higher education budget coming before the committee next week, and I will be able to vote and support it. Second, K-12 budgets. There are several of them. Yesterday, the first one went through. Actually, it didn’t, it didn’t pass. I voted yes, but the House voted no on K-12 teacher salaries. It’s about a billion-dollar budget, which is 25% of what our state’s annual budget is, so it’s a big budget. I voted yes on it because I believe the majority of the teachers are working hard and doing exactly what they’re supposed to do in teaching good curriculum and good content in our Idaho schools.

Other people had a different opinion, and that’s okay too, I’ll continue to vote to fund our teachers. When people ask me, “Why? How do you choose what you vote for, what you fund, and what you don’t?” I say, “It’s simple. It goes back to almost an elementary school classroom.” I used to be a teacher and I’ve definitely had days with my second graders where they were all rambunctious and the majority of them were loud and unruly and I’d say, “You’re going to have to stay in at recess if you don’t settle down.” The majority of them stayed in at recess because the majority of them were all unruly.

I’ve also had days where I had one kiddo that was sitting in the front row that kept poking his neighbor or doing some behavior that was poor, and I said, “You are going to stay in at recess, the rest of the class is going to go out.” I think that’s how we have to legislate too, we have to make sure that we’re looking at the majority, of what’s happening in the majority, and vote based on that instead of based on small instances or anecdotal evidence. My job as a representative is to appropriate money. I’m going to find ways to fund our schools.

Unless there’s a very significant problem, I’m going to continue to fund public education. I look forward to doing that and making sure our kids get back to school and our teachers are compensated for it.

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