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Idaho Increase Funding for Education Initiative, Initiative 1 (2006)

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The Idaho Increase Funding for Education Initiative, also known as Initiative 1 , was on the November 7, 2006 ballot in Idaho as an initiated state statute, where it was defeated. The measure would have increased public funding of k-12 education by increasing the state sales tax by 1%.[1][2]

The support for Proposition 1 came from affiliates across the country of the National Education Association; more than 15 state affiliates donated money to the unsuccessful campaign to pass the measure. Supporters outspent opponents by about $2.2 million to $41,000.

Election results

Idaho INIT 1 (2006)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No245,56354.58%
Yes 204,381 45.42%

Election results via: Idaho Secretary of State

Text of measure

Ballot title

The ballot title reads as:[2]

"An initiative relating to K-12 public school funding; identifying the purpose of this initiative as providing adequate and stable funding for local K-12 public schools; adding one percent (1%) sales tax rate, effective July 1, 2007, or requiring legislature to develop alternative revenue stream for this component of K-12 local public school funding; creating the Idaho Local Public Schools Investment Fund which, along with other revenue sources, will be used exclusively for K-12 public education, and which must be used for supporting students in the classroom and improving local schools; requiring annual accountability reports from local school boards on use of increased revenues; requiring that increased revenues in the Idaho Local Public Schools Investment Fund augment, not replace, current K-12 public school support revenue, establishing the method to compute each year's general fund appropriation for public schools; providing for distribution of increased revenues through the current K-12 public school funding mechanism; requiring advisory revote on Act in year 2020; and containing a severability clause."[3]


Support

Website logo of the "Yes on 1" campaign

Supporters

Proposition 1 was supported by the Idaho affiliate of the National Education Association. Other affiliates of the National Education Association from as far away as Connecticut and Hawaii also donated to the unsuccessful campaign to pass the measure.

Arguments in favor

Arguments presented in the official Idaho voter guide on behalf of Proposition 1 included:

  • "Idaho ranks 45th in the nation on what we spend to educate our children. We have the nation's 8th most crowded classrooms. We have the 44th lowest percentage of kids going on to college."
  • "Books, technology and materials are out of date - and there aren't enough to go around. ; Many children cannot take textbooks home for homework. In some schools, students cannot take basic courses such as Chemistry unless they pay extra. Roofs leak and carpets are 40-years old."
  • "Educating our children and providing enough teachers, up-to-date learning materials and safe classrooms should be our highest priority."
  • "No other proposal on the ballot guarantees additional school funding. It's up to us to do the right thing for our children's education."
  • "Proposition 1 requires 100% of the additional revenue generated be spent on classroom instruction and support. Local school districts must choose from a specific menu of nine areas to spend the money and must issue an annual report to the public showing these funds were used as intended."
  • "Proposition 1 funds schools to reduce class sizes and prevent class size increases so students receive the individual attention they need to succeed."
  • "Students deserve the very best possible educators and school support staff. Prop. 1 helps attract and keep the best and brightest."
  • "Proposition 1 makes our kids' education a bigger priority. Every Idaho public school benefits. Local schools will have adequate and stable funding to provide kids with the textbooks, teachers and technology they need to compete in tomorrow's job market."

Donors

$2,251,684 was donated to the "Yes on 1" campaign through a committee called the "Invest In Our Kids' Education Campaign."[4]

Donors of $10,000 or more were:

Donor Amount
Idaho Education Association $1,071,063
National Education Association $970,000
California Teachers Association $50,000
New Jersey Education Association $10,000
Washington Education Association $10,000

Opposition

Opponents

Opposition to Proposition 1 was led by a coalition called "Idahoans for Excellence in Education."

Arguments against

The argument presented by those opposed to Proposition 1 in the state's official voter guide for the 2006 election said:

The Idaho Education Association is lying in order to get you to support a 20 percent increase in the sales tax.

Idaho's public schools receive more money each and every year. Our public schools now receive $1.03 billion from the state. So why would the teacher's union lie in order to get money for public schools? And why has the teacher's union used token arguments about a lack of books to convince you that we need to raise the sales tax? Why would the Idaho Education Association be willing to raise other taxes - including the property tax - for its cause?

The fact of the matter is, the teacher's union wants this tax increase to pay for teacher raises. That is obvious from the fact that the union has failed to mention this as being one of the possible uses of the sales tax increase. In fact, the Idaho education Association's Proposition One doesn't require schools that need books, to buy books. Already, money going to schools to pay for supplies is being siphoned off to pay for teacher salaries. Recently, the teacher's union forced the Meridian School District to forgo buying new books and supplies in order to pay for teacher raises.

This kind of tax and spend policy has worked so well in some school districts, the Idaho Education Association wants you to support it on a statewide bases. The losers in this arrangement will be our kids. Please protect Idaho's children by voting against the teacher's union and Proposition One.

Donors

$41,576 was donated to the "Idahoans For Excellence In Education" to support a "no" vote on Proposition 1.

The largest donor was "K12 South Point II." This organization gave $20,000. The next largest donor gave $2,000.

See also

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External links

References


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