Sen. Ward-Engelking, D-Boise, and Rep. Toone, D-Gooding, are calling "student loan relief to rural teachers" a "necessary investment" that Idaho's Legislature should pass for attracting teachers to rural districts so educated students can ensure a "thriving economy" (Oct. 23). This raises some questions:
1. How will we pay for it — increased taxes? Tax money diverted from other issues or education needs?
2. Couldn't science majors and others also benefit from debt forgiveness in the name of helping the economy?
3. If debt forgiveness for some requires higher taxes for all, what is the unforeseen effect on the rest of the economy — what can citizens not buy and businesses not develop or devote to employees because the government takes money that would otherwise be used in other segments of the economy?
4. What does it do to character? Does it discourage responsibility, accountability, frugality, wise choices? Is it fair to those who work to pay their debts and then have to help cover someone else's?
5. On the same page, Bryan Smith points out that "university costs are up, which makes college inaccessible ... and (more) challenging" for many people. Wouldn't addressing university cost factors, like the "administrative bloat" he mentions, provide long-term benefits for all students, without increased taxes?
6. Will the benefiting teachers stay in our schools?
When I consider how we'll pay for it, who it will hurt and that it doesn't address the roots of the problems, the proposed student loan relief looks like a non-solution to me.