Education is difficult to understand.
In Boise they have to build new schools when there are too many students and they have to build new schools when they don’t have enough students.
We have a school bond election coming soon which is part of a plan to combine, close, and improve some school buildings. Bonds cover only “books and facilities”, not operating expenses like salaries.
A portion of the operating expenses comes from the state of Idaho based on the number of students enrolled. The formula is complex and most of those who pay or spend the funds don’t understand it. The rate varies depending on many factors–Boise gets less than most districts per student.
The GUARDIAN thinks young minds need to be educated–not viewed as “revenue sources” in a mindless numbers game that depends on increasing population, more houses, cars, school buses, sewers, cops…you get the picture!
The Boise school population declined by 465 students this year, based in part on a “shifting demographic.” That means more old people without kids. Seems to us that would be a good sign–people paying taxes, but not using the system.
At first blush the GUARDIAN is opposed to some of the “marketing strategies” being discussed by the Boise School Board which include encouraging huge subdivisions with “student-producing populations” (breeding humans).
While Boise City officials are hell bent on creating upscale apartments and condos in the downtown core–catering to young singles and retirees, the school district on the other hand is eager to attract breeding age adults to single family dwellings. These policies don’t appear to be compatible–at least they are not mutually beneficial.
The other plan is to look at a creating school based on the performing arts to attract students.
This approach sounds like a cruise ship ad, “Thrill to the sounds of young musicians, chuckle at comedic actors, enjoy massed voices singing your favorite tunes. Reasons to move YOUR kids to the Boise School District!”
MORE and BIGGER is not the answer to this problem, but we have to admit we don’t have an answer either at this point. We do know that “enticing” students or businesses to our fair city is NOT the answer.
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