Red, White & Blue
Computer conflict: The fight over Prop 3
Computer conflict: The fight over Prop 3 Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
The Boise School District is actively campaigning against all three education reform propositions, one of the only school districts in the state to do so.
It's something that surprised sate schools Superintendent Tom Luna. That's because Boise Schools asked to be one of the first districts in the state to receive laptops. Last April they filed a five page application. In it, the district writes laptops will be the "pivotal tool" and become a "natural resource" for their students.
"Their application was one of the best we received. That's why they were chosen to be one of the first third," said Luna.
Then in September, the school board voted unanimously to come out against the props
"It's very contradictory and I don't understand their reasoning," says Luna.
The Boise School Board says it's fighting for its taxpayers to make sure the district determines its own spending.
"We are not hypocrites," says Rory Jones a 27-year veteran trustee on the Boise School Board. "We're saying all right you took our money from us, give it back."
Under Proposition 3, the legislature must fund technology, but the district argues that leaves less money for its needs.
"You take money away from school districts to purchase laptops and then you turn around and say we've got a deal for you. Here's a bunch of laptops. Well, of course, districts are going to queue up for those machines," says Boise Schools Superintendent Don Coberly.
In fact, the state says 85 percent of Idaho's School Districts applied to implement laptops in the first of three phases. Since Boise got the nod, they bumped another district out of the running.
"If they really believe that these laptops are not the asset they claim in their application then they should step back," said Luna. "Twin Falls is the next one on the list and they're chomping at the bit. They're hoping someone drops out so they can be first."
Jones argues that's just an example of how the propositions pit districts against each other. What Boise wants is a whole new discussion on education spending.
"You could take the laptop or instead have the funding to do what's best for your district. That's a very different conversation. And it does go to local control," says Coberly Until they get local control, the Boise district is hedging its bet on prop 3.