Kuna trustees hope to end division

After easily surviving Tuesday’s recall effort, Kuna school trustee Michael Law is ready to put the past behind him.

Michael Law
Michael Law

Law, a Kuna native who has served on the School Board since May 2013, retained his seat after nearly 72 percent of Zone Four residents opposed the recall.

“Everybody is ready to put everything behind us and get back to work,” Law said Wednesday.

About Michael Law

So who is the trustee at the heart of the furor?

Law went to Boise State University, where he earned a degree in political science with an education emphasis. He completed graduate school at American Public University, where he obtained a master’s degree in political science.

Law is a certified teacher in history and U.S. government. He does not teach now, but hopes to be able to teach dual-credit courses to high school students or serve as an adjunct professor.

He is also fluent in Japanese, and works as a project manager for an online translation company. Law and his wife have three children, who attended school in the district.

In 2006 and 2012 Law ran unsuccessfully for the Legislature on a conservative platform of  “less taxes, less government less federal intrusion and more liberty.”

When Kuna voters passed a levy in 2012, Law’s interest in the district was piqued. He started attending school board meetings.

He won his seat in 2013, after pushing to raise the bar in academic standards so  college-bound students would not need remediation — while scrutinizing spending and calls for tax increases.

“What I believe is at all levels of government, there should be much more transparency, more accountability – as much as possible to the taxpayer – as well as making sure funds are being used properly.”

The recall, and beyond

Kuna residents who targeted Law for a recall were angered that he opposed a $6.38 million levy, a proposal that was defeated in March. Voters passed an identical levy in May, but the recall effort moved forward and Law fought it rather than resign.

Law said that he was representing struggling families in the district, was trying to weigh wants versus needs and was not obligated to go along with the majority of board members who backed the levy.

The recall did not appear to weigh heavily on School Board Chairman Carl Ericson either.

Ericson said the effort was “a nonentity for us, for me at least,” and believed it would not succeed.

Now that the recall vote and contentious levy elections are history, Ericson said he wants to focus on erasing community divisions and returning the focus to students’ education.

“We need to be able to build,” Ericson said. “We don’t have to all be able to agree, but we have be able come together, to have enough understanding, cooperation and respect for each other’s priorities so this doesn’t become a contentious, dividing issue in the community.”

During the Jan. 14 school board meeting, Law and Ericson took different sides on the levy issue. Ericson voted in favor of a resolution calling for the March 11 levy election, while Law was the only trustee to vote against it.

Ericson said he and Law may have different philosophies, but he thinks the board can work together productively.

“He comes to the board with a different agenda than most, but whether people like that or not is immaterial in my mind,” Ericson said. “He does his job. He asks questions I think need to be asked and people can have their own opinion of whether he is right (about taxes and levies).”

Kuna’s next School Board meeting is scheduled for Sept. 9. Law’s four-year term runs through May 2017, while the two-year levy voters approved in May expires in 2016.