Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

A Smart Start from Luna

Posted by Adam Graham on January 20, 2007

Superintendent Tom Luna’s Education Budget looks good. This particular portion as reported by the Spokesman Review bodes very well for the future:

For schools, Luna’s budget reflects an overall 7 percent increase over this year’s general fund budget for education, but just a 1 percent increase in discretionary funding to school districts. “We need to make sure that the classroom environment is the focus of the new spending,” Luna said. The plan includes a $24 million “classroom enhancement package” to direct state funding specifically to textbook purchases, classroom supplies, remediation for kids who are falling behind and college classes for high-performing high school juniors and seniors.

Luna is basically saying, “We don’t want teachers purchasing their own supplies for kids, but we’re not going to give you carte blanche for local districts to buy whatever.” That was the Proposition 1 philosophy and Luna knows the pitfalls of that. Rep. Branden Durst (D-Idaho 18) says he’s pleasantly surprised by the budget proposal, particularly by a dual enrollment plan that would allow High School Students to take college courses:

The dual enrollment proposal is something I have been talking up for a while. Running Start, as it is referred to in Washington, is the perfect model of the dual enrollment concept. By taking students out of high school classroom (for at least part of the day) and into the college setting we are both saving money and better educating our students. It’s a real win-win (provided the Legislature steps up and takes care of the community college issue).

And Rep. Durst is doubly correct on the Community College issue. Paying to send kids to BSU is going to be substantially more expensive than to a Community College. Come on legislature, let’s get the job done on this one.

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