Monday, January 26, 2009

Rusche: Plan undermines Constitution

Idaho House Minority Leader John Rusche had an op-ed in the Idaho Statesman yesterday about Rep. Steven Thayn's proposal to pay parents to keep their children home from kindergarten. Here's a snip:

Make no mistake - this is an assault on public schools, something Rep. Thayn and his ultra-conservative kind have been promoting for years. But his plan is worse than foolish. It is a dangerous attack on a core American value: common public education.

Public schools and the values of fairness and opportunity that they offer are so important that the founders of Idaho placed them in our Constitution:
"Article IX: Education and School Lands.
"Section 1. Legislature to Establish System of Free Schools. The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it shall be the duty of the legislature of Idaho, to establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools."

If anything, a "general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools" is even more important now - in this difficult economy and amid global competition for jobs - than it was at Idaho's founding. Idaho needs leaders who will look toward 2050, not 1950.

Read the whole op-ed here.

Update, January 28: It looks like House Leadership isn't taking Thayn too seriously.