As an organization, Life’s Kitchen is dedicated to helping young adults not only gain the skills to be employable, but perhaps even more importantly, to teach kids how to learn. If we had to boil our organizational existence down to one concentrated statement of why we exist, we would say that we are very concerned about the welfare of our children, and the welfare of our community.
That premise sets the stage for our last board meeting in which we invited Dr. Don Coberly, the Superintendent of the Boise Independent School District, along with Nancy Landon, and Sue Lovelace to discuss the Boise School District’s supplemental levy that comes to a vote on March 13. The presentation centered on a description of the steps the school district took to deal with the budget cuts it faced in light of Idaho’s budget crisis, the proposed levy, and what the levy means if it is passed. One of the conclusions we drew was that it appeared that the school district did a meticulous job in trimming their budget, and maximizing available resources. As a non-profit, we can appreciate this exercise. They also did a solid job of presenting their case, and being prepared. There was also ample information provided with budgets and data.
We asked a great number of questions of the presentation team during the roughly 90-minute presentation. In fact, we were commended for our preparedness. We think the same can be said of the Boise School District. After the presentation we had thoughtful group discussion as a board, and asked ourselves some hard questions in order that we could respond to the Boise Independent School District request for our endorsement. That is a hefty request. Once accounting for not jeopardizing our 501c3 status, we discovered that we are allowed to endorse a ballot measure, but not a candidate. The document we refer to can be found in this link. Even with that protection, we still had discussion about possible ramifications; this is, after all, as much an ideological question as it is one of politics.
As an organization, we voted to endorse the supplemental levy because we care about the welfare of our children, and the welfare of our community. The Boise School District is one of the highest performing districts of its size in the country and we would like to see it stay that way. As politics go, we recognize that conversations need to occur. For Life’s Kitchen, it has always been, and always will be about helping kids. Let the conversations occur, let the decisions be made, but let’s not do so at the expense of the kids we all care about.