Idaho taxpayers recently got income tax refunds in the mail. Yet, Idaho schools are still the most poorly funded in the nation.

A group by the name of Reclaim Idaho wants to get education out of last place.

For too long, state lawmakers have valued tax refunds over quality education and refused to budge. They’ve left a ballot initiative as the only way to change that calculus.

Reclaim Idaho is gearing up to get an initiative on the ballot in 2022. The effort survived an attempt by the Legislature to block it by setting up hurdles too high to clear to get an initiative on the ballot. The Idaho Supreme Court ruled the hurdles unconstitutional.

The initiative would raise the corporate tax rate to 8% from 6.5%. It would raise taxes on annual incomes of $250,000 a year for individuals and $500,000 a year for couples.

The initiative calls for the taxes collected to be distributed to schools on a per-student basis.

In 2021, education is everything. Like nothing else, good education opens doors to higher incomes, more prosperous families and healthier lives. It creates stronger communities, stronger states and a stronger nation. It gives Americans the skills they need to be globally competitive.

Grit and determination, which Idahoans have in abundance, are no substitute for innovative teachers and high quality school facilities with sufficient equipment to allow students to explore and excel.

Voters should welcome the chance to lend their signatures to petitions to get what’s called The Quality Education Act on the ballot.


“Our View” represents the opinion of the newspaper editorial board, which is made up of members of its board of directors. Remarks may be directed to editorialboard@mtexpress.com.

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