Community Blog: The EDge

Students Come First foes consider forming nonprofit watchdog group

Five months after spearheading the campaign to defeat the Students Come First laws, Idaho Parents and Teachers Together is publicly contemplating its next steps.

Michael Lanza
Michael Lanza

And gauging whether their supporters will vote with their checkbooks.

On the group’s Facebook page, Boise parent and group co-founder Michael Lanza posted the following Tuesday:

“Friends, our group is at a crossroads. Having overturned the Luna laws, we now face a decision about whether to formally organize as a non-profit. We need a signal from you, our supporters. How much money would you spend to support an organization that functions as a watchdog over the Idaho Legislature on education issues? Answer how much by commenting below, and show support by liking and sharing this post. Thank you.”

HolliWoodings2090
Rep. Holli Woodings, D-Boise

The first reaction came from Rep. Holli Woodings, D-Boise. “I will support you with $100 to start!”

Woodings wasn’t the only person to pledge money on Facebook.

But University of Idaho professor Rick Fletcher took a wait-and-see approach.

“I think it could be an important group — certainly needed. But I think you need to do more than I saw this past legislative session.”

The group did not actively lobby at the 2013 session — when lawmakers looked at a series of bills that resurrected pieces of all three Students Come First laws, including the Proposition 1 collective bargaining law.

Lanza has been active, however, as one of 31 members of Gov. Butch Otter’s education reform task force. He also has been a contributor to Idaho Education News’ Voices section.

Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger at Idaho Education News (idahoednews.org). Kevin is a former Statesman editorial page editor, with 27 year's experience in Idaho journalism.

Posted in The EDge