I want to respond to Marty Trillhaase’s editorial, “Nothing subtle will stop a school voucher bill,” reprinted last week in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News.
Trillhaase, editor of the Lewiston Tribune Opinion page, despairingly quotes Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman who supports “offering real education freedom that empowers families by allowing them to choose school options that best suit their children.” I’m guessing Trillhaase is pro-choice, but not when it comes to education.
First, I want to disabuse him of the idea that Idahoans don’t spend enough money on K-12 education. According to the Idaho State Department of Education, Idaho taxpayers funded $7,591 per K-12 pupil in 2022. And Idaho just boosted education spending by an additional $410 million, bumping it up to $8,888 per student at the state level. Additionally, K-12 schools receive $2,755 per pupil from the federal government, with Idaho property taxes adding on another $2,266. That makes a total of $13,909 per K-12 pupil per year, about 24% of the average Idahoan’s annual salary of $58,900.