It has been a long time since the education budget was the "going home bill" in the Idaho Legislature. But this time, it's not a battle over funding. It's about bruised egos and a political arm-wrestling match between two powerful chairmen: Sen. Dean Cameron of Rupert, the budget committee's co-chair, and Sen. John Goedde, the education committee chairman.
It seems that Goedde is upset about Cameron's committee approving a $1.3 million budget for public schools without consulting more with Goedde's committee. So Goedde and others managed to get the 18 votes needed to kill the school budget and allow taxpayers to foot the bill ($30,000 per day) for the Legislature to meet at least a few more days.
The package approved by the budget committee was as miraculous as any of the buzzer beaters seen in the NCAA basketball tournaments. The budget had support from State Superintendent Tom Luna, the Idaho School Boards Association and the Idaho Education Association. That in itself is a huge accomplishment. The budget framework also has been in place for some time, so it didnt exactly sneak up on Goedde. He just happened to choose this time when the Legislature was on the verge of adjourning to engage in this political temper tantrum.
Hypocrisy comes into play here. Last year, it was Goedde who railroaded Students Come First through the Senate ignoring input from teachers, parents and anyone else who opposed. This session, Goedde was a willing partner in efforts to put together the sequel to the failed Proposition 1, again ignoring input from teachers. So now, hes complaining about not being consulted on the education budget.
He doesnt get any sympathy here, and he does not deserve it.
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