I attended Idaho public schools. So did my four children. So did my wife, Miss Lori an educator who also attended and worked in Idaho public schools. We now have six grandchildren who are attending or figure to attend Idaho public schools as well.
The point is that, like most of you, Idahos public schools are big part of my life past, present and future. Thats why the First Lady and I are asking you to join us in supporting Idahos Students Come First education reforms by voting yes on Nov. 6 for Proposition 1, Proposition 2 and Proposition 3.
Beyond my constitutional responsibility as governor to help the Legislature maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools, it is my job as a father, as a grandfather, and as a citizen and taxpayer to support and indeed insist upon quality educational opportunities for every Idahoan.
I want my grandkids and their children and grandchildren to grow up in a state where quality public education is a priority. That doesnt mean spending more money than other states to show our commitment. What it means is ensuring our public schools are providing the best education possible for our children with the resources we have.
It also means nurturing student and teacher success while ensuring that outmoded education policies and processes or misplaced priorities dont keep our children from competing and succeeding in the wider world.
So what does voting yes on Idahos education reforms mean?
A yes vote on Proposition 1 means accountability by ensuring parents have a voice on the performance of teachers and principals while phasing out tenure or lifetime contracts that put job security ahead of our childrens future.
A yes vote on Proposition 2 means rewarding success by ensuring that effective teachers and those who go the extra mile for kids can earn more for their efforts and excellence.
A yes vote on Proposition 3 means looking ahead by covering the cost of high school students to earn the equivalent of one year of college credit, and by providing digital and blended learning opportunities to better prepare Idaho students for the more connected and information-driven workplaces of today and tomorrow.
Most importantly of all, voting yes on Nov. 6 means ensuring that students truly come first in our public policies, as they do in our homes.
We all want the same thing a future driven by responsible, well-educated Idahoans who are ready for anything. We have the chance here to do truly great things for generations to come.
Please join me in a commitment to making Idaho a place of limited government and unlimited opportunity by ensuring our precious young people have the tools to match their great potential. Vote YES on Propositions 1, 2 and 3.
Butch Otter, a Republican, is governor of Idaho.