Our grandchildren go to Kuna schools, our children attended Kuna schools, my wife, Arnette, rocked Kuna schools, and her mother walked to a Kuna school (although not uphill both ways, as she sometimes suggested). Point is, four generations of Arnette’s family have put down such deep roots in Kuna schools that Arnette felt a calling to become an educator and to work to make the system better. She volunteered for many years while being a full-time mom until our youngest was in third grade. and has worked in the Kuna School District for the last fourteen years. She was an advocate for our own kids in her home life, served as an advocate for many peoples’ kids when she taught, and became an advocate for everybody’s kids when she became an Administrator.
I have listened when she comes home after work, and explains just how inadequately the Idaho Legislature funds the School Districts. Kuna ranks 112 out of 115 Idaho School Districts in per pupil spending, and spends less than half the U.S. average per pupil. “Throwing money” at students is just not something the Idaho Legislature does. I listen as she explains how she writes grant applications to implement teacher development programs, and other school programs to benefit students. Gathering and spending money is a complicated issue, so people have many different ideas and opinions about where to get money and how to spend it.
We believe there are honest differences of opinion about funding for Kuna School District, and both Arnette and I respect the opinions of our friends on both sides of the levy issue. Arnette’s passionate support for the levy is because of her passion for Kuna kids’ education. I support the levy because of my passion for her. Okay, okay, my grandchildren and possibly my great-grandchildren will benefit. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that we both believe there is a need for better funding for the schools, and until the State Legislature provides realistic funding, the levy is a somewhat unpopular, but necessary, resource. We voice our support for the renewal of the supplemental levy.
—Ross and Arnette Johnson
I am very proud that the City and the School district have been working together on projects that help to provide a positive atmosphere for our youth. We recognize that there is a shortage of programs that feed the energy and minds of Kuna’s young people. Kuna’s school district has been doing a great job for our kids, with providing for teachers and coaches to guide the need to learn and to compete. Kuna’s cheerleaders came home nationally ranked. Things like this don’t come by luck or by chance. These things happen because of a great deal of effort, not only from our students and coaches, but from the support of the entire school district and community. I fear that if we cut the budget of our schools we will loose the programs that make things like this possible.
We need to expand the number of programs for our kids, not reduce them. If we pay now and keep our youth inspired and wanting to achieve success, we will be a proud community producing productive members of society (happy people) and creating a great place to live. It is a well-known fact that failing to invest in young people creates for a busy criminal court system and cost tax payers dearly, with little or no return. Lets invest on the front side and enjoy the benefits.
If any points need to be made, do that at school board meetings and tell your elected officials what it is that you expect of them. After all you elected them to represent you, if you don’t talk to them, how then can they represent your wishes. You might just find that things are not the way that some would lead you to believe. At the very least try to attend one of the scheduled meetings on this issue, so that you can make up your own mind as to the need of the schools and once you know, Vote. I know you will make the correct choice.
—Joe Stear, Kuna City Councilman