Education proposal deserves merit

Posted Thursday, February 12, 2015, at 8:15 AM
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  • I'm willing to bet that MHAFB will not survive the next round of base closings for the reasons you stated. Let's face it, without the base, Mountain Home will become just a fuel stop on the interstate. Local businesses will fold in droves, local jobs will disappear, home values will plummet, and the children of the remaining residents will abandon the town in search of better lives.

    Like I have said before, Mountain Home is a nice enough town, but it has zero to offer to any company looking to relocate or expand because it has hitched it's star to the base and it's contribution to the local economy.

    To tell you the truth, I bet that there are many of the old time residents who live on their military pensions and pensions they get from government jobs they held after their military service, who have no children or grandchildren living in town, who have no problem with this happening.

    Follow this to it's logical end, and Mountain Home will literally cease to exist, except as a retirement community.

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Wed, Feb 11, 2015, at 10:10 AM
  • SORRY .......OP your wrong.lets just say there is more to the air base than meets the eye.I suggest to you that if Idaho wants to keep it's air guard flying mission they need to move to mtn home.Transition to the f-15 and take advantage of what the base has to offer in more ways than one.

    -- Posted by lamont on Wed, Feb 11, 2015, at 12:01 PM
  • lamont, you know just as well as I do that there is a noisy contingent in Mountain Home that would prefer it to become a sleepy little retirement community and have all the outsiders leave.

    On the subject of education funding, this state has clearly shown it's position on funding since Otter became governor. IEN which would have given students in the most rural areas access to the same classes as the more populated and "wealthy" parts now stands in jeopardy because of Otter's style of crony capitalism. The state now owes Centurylink a huge amount of money and faces the loss of much needed federal funding to help the schools here.

    The gist of position still stands. Mountain Home is really not much better than a "company" town with the military being the "company". There have been towns that have survived the loss of a base by banding together, raising the revenue needed and working with the feds to re-purpose the base.

    The bottom line is that there will require a united effort on the part of the citizens of Mountain Home to increase the amount of funding to their schools so the town can thrive since the state sure wont.

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Wed, Feb 11, 2015, at 2:09 PM
  • Mike, I would suggest once again that you provide real numbers to back your assertions, rather than throw verbal firebombs.

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Thu, Feb 12, 2015, at 7:22 AM
  • I was referring to "Brian.....when that roof is still leaking after all the money they've already levied from us, we don't have a "revenue" issue here."

    Please stop trying to change the subject when questioned or challenged.

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Thu, Feb 12, 2015, at 8:38 AM
  • Mike, I was addressing you because you seem to imply some kind of wide spread fraud or waste in school funds spent. All I wanted you to do is back that up with facts. Not so hard is it?

    -- Posted by the old progressive on Thu, Feb 12, 2015, at 3:41 PM
  • It would be really ignorant for the air force to discontinue the A-10 the best Tactical Aircraft since the p-47 of WWII so far haven't seen anything proposed that can hold a candle to it. As far as education in Mountain Home More jobs bigger Tax Base more money for schools. Unless of course the City and County arbitrarily raise home values to fill in the gap.

    -- Posted by Grumpy old man on Thu, Feb 12, 2015, at 4:31 PM
  • Educational oppertunity plays a part in base closure consideration but a small part. The biggest criteria will be in the future, the ability of a facility to be a joint service operation,and how much the installation is encroached on. In both those areas we are sitting pretty good.The A10 future, is no future it is not about what it can do. It is about parts,procurement of those parts and the airframe hours. The cost to make the weapons system cost effective.tHE A10 is out of time.There are approx. 140 of them left in the inventory it is not cost effective.You need to remember why the a-10 was built and that mission no longer is there.The problem I fear, is the f-35 is a turkey.WE will make it work but how long will it take and at what cost?We have done this before with the f-4 and the f-111.Joint service sounds good and it is good but making it work is not easy.The f-4 worked to a point the f-111 did not.Politics always plays a part in BRAC the key is to get ahead of it.

    Put the guard at mtn home and give them the opportunity for a bigger mission and become more integrated with and active wing.Free the space for the exspansion of the boise airport which is happening and will happen.We have room for the army guard here also.That would set them up to become and integral part of the active forces,giving them training facilities and space.It would get rid of the noise complaints and set the guard up in a more favorable permanent situation.

    Like mike I question were my taxe dollars are going?It seems as though we cant maintain our schools either that or we need some better roofers.I don't want to have to replace a gymn floor that is one exspensive project.

    -- Posted by lamont on Fri, Feb 13, 2015, at 2:34 PM
  • *

    "In all fairness, we have some schools in this state that provide great education for their students, complete with all the technological "bells and whistles." Of course, these districts tend to fall into the wealthiest parts of Idaho, where they can draw from deep pockets of money..."

    And that's Idaho's fault. If it's not obvious, I'm a tenured transplant to Idaho, from another close by red state. Local population (rural vs urban) density or financial conduit (farming vs corporate) has nothing to do with educational quality/capability. I by no means have the answer to Idaho's elementary and intermediate education issues, but I can tell you a neighboring state doesn't suffer from the same problems, on a budget that's minuscule compared to Idaho's, regardless of the local household median income. In my opinion only, there seems to be a deep-rooted stubbornness in Idaho's education system, of which education officials don't want to do a little critical thinking and find out what other states are doing right. By in large though, the post is pretty informative and brings up a lot of other good points.

    I'm kinda with Mike, in regards to overseas bases. Overseas bases are significantly more expensive to run and keep going. They have all the costs of a CONUS base, plus whatever funding that gets paid to the pertaining country, the costs of constantly moveing personnel around, even if it's within the same command, because SOFA agreements disallow stagnation. And then there's the logistical (beans, bullets, beer) costs.

    Having very (and I mean VERY) recently retired, MHAFB has a little bit longer future then some of the previous posters think. There will probably be an airframe change before there's a base closure. There's a lot more pieces to the MHAFB mission than just the jets. In fact, I recently had a conversation with one of the prior command Chiefs who retired back in the 80's about this same subject. Being a peer of sorts, I discussed some of the other activities the base performs and the very sizable lease contributions to flying ranges and the Orchard training area. The more dynamic, flexible, and adaptable a base can be, the higher chance of BRAC survival. And the 366th has a proven track record of being very adaptable and marketable to the DoD.

    In regards to education alone, the new base school principal has worked wonders. And back to my first topic, the local district receives Fed subsidies for schools based on military dependent (children) needs and quantity. My kids have been in MH schools for their entire education, and each year as a military member I fill out the demographic survey. So I ask again: There's plenty of money there. Where's it going? We all can point out poor practices in our district alone; multiply that by all the other poorly managed districts. ...Because just next door, is a state doing a whole lot better, with close to the same quantity of students, with a noticeably smaller FY public education budget..

    -- Posted by Darksc8p on Sat, Feb 14, 2015, at 4:38 PM
  • To address the point about the roof leaking after so many levies have passed: no data were given, even though the data is readily available on the school district's website. We have not had a facilities maintenance levy pass since 2007. We have had levies pass that were clearly delineated for the operating budget, which includes routine maintenance. Therefore, no money from the state since 2007 or from levies or bonds since 2007 for our facilities means that things like the roof on Hacker Middle School are fixed in piecemeal fashion until such time as the state or the local taxpayer come up with the funds to actually replace the roof. It's not difficult to understand if you take away emotion and look at things rationally. Do we want to be part of the problem or part of the solution? I believe we need to continue lobbying our representatives to fund ALL school operating costs.

    -- Posted by txplnt on Tue, Feb 17, 2015, at 11:20 AM
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