Letters to the editor from this week's Chronicle:

To the Editor:
I was shocked when Jim Chmelik praised the members of our congressional delegation for voting against the reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools funding.  I spent four years on the School Board of Dist. 242 and saw first hand the importance of SRS funds for our schools.  These funds help our rural children have the same advantages of larger districts with a huge tax base.  These payments are not “welfare payments” nor an example of too much government but the fact that the owner of 83% of the land in our country needs to pay their fair share of the property tax, just like we all do to benefit our schools and roads.  Jim Rehder has said he will work to restore the SRS funds for our counties and keep our children in competition and that is why I plan to vote for Jim Rehder for Idaho County Commissioner.
Linda Stubbers

Letter to the Editor:
Proposition One is set up to limit teachers rights to negotiate any issues other than pay and benefits. It excludes teachers from addressing funding of programs, class size and safety issues. It eliminates teacher early retirement incentives and eliminates continuing contract status. 
The early retirement incentive program allowed teachers to retire early, bringing in new teachers. The program didn’t cost the state, it saved the state money.
Continuing contract status was established to eliminate the threat of people losing their jobs over trivial matters.If the proper steps are followed by building administrators, the system works, by providing teachers with the support necessary to improve their performance. 
Teachers are professionals. We are entrusted with your children approximately 180 days a year, not counting the endless evenings and weekends spent on activities. The majority of teachers chose this profession to help others, not get rich. We are enriched by seeing young minds come alive, strive to do better, and watching them become successful citizens in our society.
Who knows better the issues that your children deal with than the teachers who see them daily.
Prop One is bad legislation.
Jerry Richardson

Peace, Not War!
Dear Editor:
Is an imperialist-minded U.S. government preparing to strike yet more sovereign nations in the Middle East?  In Heaven's name, I ask WHY?
And why are supposedly good, freedom-loving Americans - - tens of millions of professing Christians among them - - so silent in the face of it?
Does such domineering, U.S. militarism bear any resemblance at all to the spirit of the documents which founded this nation?!
What has Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria or Iran ever done to harm us......prior to our threatening and invading them?
In his Farewell Address, President George Washington urged both non-alignment and peaceful relations with all nations.
Jesus taught only peace and love, yet today, millions who call Him Lord mindlessly, tragically, wave flags of war.
Stop believing the political lies, America, and start reining in your power-crazed, renegade government.  If we do not, I fear we will soon experience the retribution of war right here on our own soil.  And, although with regret, I would say, justly so. 
To find and follow truth, we must stop worshiping at the feet of the likes of CNN and FOX News.  (Just two among many alternatives:  www.republicbroadcasting.org and www.oriontalkradio.com.)  
Far better that we commit to guarding God-given rights and liberties here at home, than continue to pay to have "democracy" forced on other lands.
Thank You.
Carol Asher
Kamiah, Idaho

Letter to the Editor:
Facts about the education propositions are:  
If you vote yes on Proposition 1, you will put the school boards and the parents who elect the boards back in control of the schools.  Teachers' unions will be limited to open one year negotiations for wages and health insurance, and must be backed by over 50% of the teachers. Parents can give feedback on teacher performance evaluations.
If you vote no on Proposition 1, you will keep the teachers' unions in control of schools as the teachers unions can continue to negotiate for all management decisions (even deciding when the bell rings) behind closed doors with less than 50% of the teachers.  The school boards will continue to lose control, having to agree with them. Parent feedback on teacher performance evaluations are not required.
 The NEA has spent $1.1 million to defeat these propositions.   The state can’t be spending that much taxpayer money to counteract the false ads.   The IEA has spent at least .2 million. 
If you vote yes on proposition 2, effective teachers will be rewarded with bonuses.  Effective teachers and effective schools will be rewarded based 70% on how the children progress during the year, only 30% on grades. Tenure will be phased out with the new teachers coming in.
If you vote no on proposition 2, then teachers will continue to be paid by how long they teach.  Tenure will continue and school boards will not be able to fire teachers who are not effective.  
The misinformation from the unions is that the $38 million for pay for performance is just a transfer of money from teacher's salaries within the education budget. The truth is that the $38 million is extra money added to the education fund from the general fund.
If you vote yes on Proposition 3, you will guarantee that each student will have a laptop to use and there will be a two credit on-line course required to graduate.  Seniors can take a year’s worth of state funded college credits. 
If you vote no on proposition 3, there will be no required laptops and the state will have to come up with more money to buy the more expensive textbooks.  The two credits of on-line learning is still required by law.  College credits must be paid by parents or the students.
 The claim is that computers replace teachers.   The truth is that they do not replace teachers, but gives teachers more time to help struggling students.  Our students have become visual learners.   It has been proven that students are motivated by computers.   
The assertion is that the local district pays for the upkeep of the computers.  The truth is that the state requires the contractor to maintain the upkeep of the computers.    Textbooks on the long run are much more expensive than computers.
All of these reform education laws have been enacted in part by some other states so they are not new.   Idaho has the most comprehensive reforms so the teachers' unions are fighting the hardest in Idaho.  Teachers are paid with taxpayer money to attend many union functions.   The union bosses are paid wages that are in the hundreds of thousands.  
A meeting to explain this is being held on Wednesday the 17th at 7 pm at the Grangeville Elementary Multipurpose room. 
If you have questions, please call 208 962-7718, or go to websites:  www.idahofreedomfoundation.org,  www.ice-pac.net ,  or www.yes4idaho.com 
Senator Sheryl Nuxoll

Dear Editor,
Is Jim Chmelik or Marge Arnzen running for County Commissioner?  By her letter to the editor in last week’s local newspapers, it’s Idaho County Republican Chair Marge Arnzen.  After all, she’s the one with the “purity test.”  Remember the primaries?  She punished two Republican candidates who didn’t turn their “test” in on time by purging the ticket of anybody who dared disobey her.  
What’s the upshot?  We have three county commissioners who answer to Mrs. Arnzen before they answer to Idaho County. 
I want that to change, and that’s why I’m voting for Jim Rehder.  Mr. Rehder doesn’t need permission to make the right decisions for Idaho County.  There is no intermediary, no ridged ideology and no party apparatus standing between him and the people he represents.  With him, Idaho County comes first.
Jim Rehder has three times the experience of his opponent and a proven record of acting on our behalf.  The only test that matters is his commitment to the people of Idaho County and he’ll ace that test every time. 
Carl Skyrman
Lucile, Idaho

To the Editor,
Of all the "bad" bills passed by the current Idaho Legislature, the "Luna Laws" were the most egregious and damaging.  Despite hundreds of teachers, students, parents and education advocates testifying against the bills, our out-of-touch representatives voted yes anyway.  The furious backlash resulted in a successful state-wide petition drive to put the measures on the ballot as Propositions 1, 2 and 3.  
Sheryl Nuxoll, Paul Shephard and Shannon McMillan voted lock-step yes for the Luna Laws, once again demonstrating their willingness to let narrow ideology trump the well-being of education in Idaho -- a state ranked so low in education funding and support it's now dubbed "the Mississippi of the West".   Doesn't that make you proud?
The Luna Laws, at best, are punitive measures against teachers and students.  Mr.  Luna and the legislature will continue under-mining education in Idaho until there's nothing left but some battered laptops and rich out-of-state companies.
District 7 voters have the opportunity to truly "reform" education by rejecting the Luna Laws and electing genuine pro-education candidates.  Casey Drews and Nancy Lerandeau are passionate about improving Idaho's education funding and attitudes.  By voting NO on Propositions 1, 2 and 3 and voting FOR Casey Drews and Nancy Lerandeau, we can begin the reclamation process of Idaho's education system.
Shelley Dumas

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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