Education propositions divide Republican & Democratic candidates in Latah Co.

MOSCOW, ID - The Farm Bureau Federation held a candidate forum Monday night at the 1912 Center in Moscow.

All ten Latah County candidates participated, but most of the questions were directed toward the six candidates running for state positions. The controversial education propositions were the first issues discussed. All three Republican candidates support the propositions.

"I think those are good ideas," said Idaho State Senator Candidate Greham Bouman. "As a taxpayer, I think I have the right to know how my money is being spent."

"Those teachers that do an awesome job are going to get rewarded for it and the teachers that do not do such a great job, well maybe they better be looking for other work," said Idaho State Representative District 5, Seat B Candidate Ken DeVries.

All candidates agree the devil is in the details of these propositions, but Republicans believe they're a step in the right direction.

"They're not perfect, they have room for improvement," said Idaho State Representative District 5, Seat A Candidate Cindy Agidius. "I am excited about seeing the computers in the classrooms."

Their Democratic opponents agree technology is important to education, but are worried proposition three could be a step toward replacing teachers with laptops.

"The one-on-one laptop initiative has been tried throughout the nation and many places have given it up, either because of expense or not seeing improvement in learning," said Idaho State Representative District 5, Seat B Candidate Shirley Ringo.

The Democratic candidates want to see changes in Idaho's education system, but they believe the propositions were approached in the wrong manner.

"To me the details of it, some seem right, some don't," said Idaho State Senator Dan Schmidt. "But to me the process was really flawed."

Even though the propositions and the candidates represent two separate items voters will consider, education remains the hot topic in Idaho and has drawn an even thicker line between the two political parties.