As I sit in the second hearing for house bill 590, there have been many testimonies that have expressed how the public education system has failed children, or how students with disabilities are not getting support in public education.
No one has addressed the larger question as to why this is happening. Instead of supporting areas of public education that people are saying are not working, house bill 590 causes more harm than good to the public school system.
With the potential of less funding in future legislation, areas that people are claiming are failing their child will be less funded and begin a failing system due to ill support of an education system that is meant and designed to support students.
As stated by Rep. John Gannon, private schooling is a choice that parents have. With choices come consequences both positive and negative. If parents feel the public education system is failing their child, they have the right and choice to remove their child from public education. However, this choice comes with the cost of paying for tuition to attend a private institution.
This bill opens the door to hurt more students in the public school system by potentially taking away funding for public schools throughout the state. This bill serves as a Band-Aid on a wound that will not heal unless given special attention.
The wound is a “failing system”. Instead of supporting this system and bolstering areas of the system that are weakened through financial, moral and legislative support, the valuable system is being denied that support and will eventually fail because of this.
As representatives for the people of the state of Idaho, the question should loom in your mind of “Why?” Why is the system failing? Why are students not being supported or helped in the current public school system? Instead of addressing these blatant issues, this Legislature is ignoring these issues and is not giving any support to help alleviate these issues.
Written by Topher Wallaert, a teacher at Hacker Middle School in Mountain Home.