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Proposition 3: More for voters to consider than just computers for high school students

Proposition 3: More for voters to consider than just computers for high school students

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
October 18, 2012

(Note: This is the third of a three-part series examining what a “yes” or “no” vote means on the state’s three propositions to be decided by voters in the general election Nov. 6. Tuesday featured Proposition 1. Wednesday was Proposition 2.)


Proposition 3, one of the three education reform measures on the general election ballot Nov. 6, has much more to it than what is commonly used to describe it; that is, funding for high school students so they have access to mobile computing devices.

Also in the proposition, but largely overlooked in the debate over students having access to a computer funded by the state, are two significant reform measures in their own right. One requires school districts to post their labor union contracts online. The other permits post-secondary schools to operate charter high schools.

Proposition 3, according to a poll commissioned by the Idaho Statesman and conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research of Washington, D.C., shows a stronger sentiment than either Proposition 1 or Proposition 2. Both those measures show statistically equal acceptance of and rejection of the education reforms.

Proposition 3, according to the poll that was conducted during a three-day period last week, says 47 percent of voters will reject it, 40 percent approve it and 13 percent are undecided.  Based on polling 625 voters who said they are likely to vote in the election, there is a 4 percent margin of error.

A yes vote supports and keeps in place Proposition 3 (Senate Bill 1184) that passed the Legislature in 2011 and was signed by the governor.

A no vote repeals Proposition 3 and reinstates the laws that were formerly on the books.

Proposition 3:

On the ballot, voters will be asked whether to approve Senate Bill 1184. In short, the question before voters is this:

Shall the legislation amending school district funding, requiring provision of computing devices and online courses for high school graduation be approved?

What a “yes” vote means What a “no” vote means
Each school district must post its labor union contract online. School districts are not required to post their labor union contract online; the contracts remain available through the state’s public records law.
The state provides special funding specifically designated for all high school students to have access to mobile computing devices. The state also provides funding for maintenance, security and technical support for the devices. No dedicated funding available for all high school students to have mobile computing devices. Funding for such a line item would have to be designated through special legislative appropriation, local property tax levies or discretionary funding provided to school districts by the state.
The State Board of Education is authorized to consider adding online courses as a requirement of graduation starting with the class of 2016. The State Board of Education does not have authorization to require online courses as a condition of graduation for Idaho school students.
Post-secondary schools in Idaho may operate charter high schools. Post-secondary schools in Idaho may not operate charter high schools; other chartering entities would be allowed to continue to operate in Idaho.



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