REXBURG, Idaho -

The tour started out in the gym with Madison superintendent Geoff Thomas pointing out some of the features. Other school administrators and board members joined the tour.

"Good facilities are so important for the students and for the teachers," Balukoff said.

Balukoff saw the state of the art library and the impressive technical education buildings.

He even saw the project where students raise fish for Fish and Game as part of their learning experience.

And Balukoff was serenaded by the girl's choir.

"I really think the arts are such an important part of the education of a child," Balukoff said.

It was thanks to the patrons of the Madison school district that these students have such a nice facility by passing a bond. Balukoff says the state needs to do more for schools.

"Idaho is number 50 out of 51 states and the district of Columbia in what we invest in education per student, and we've suffered some pretty drastic cuts from the legislature and the governor over the past eight years," Balukoff said.

Balukoff says he has several ideas on how to find more money for schools.

"I've heard estimates that the sales tax we are not collecting on internet sales is somewhere in the neighborhood of 45-million dollars a year, which would help our school a lot if we were to collect those," Balukoff said.

School administrators are quick to point out they're not taking political sides. This is a civics lesson in campaigning. They'd do the same for Governor Otter if he were here.

"I think it will be a good opportunity for our students to have interaction with a candidate for governor," principal Mike Bennett said.

Students from government classes had the chance to ask Balukoff questions and they appreciated the opportunity.

"I think that being able to hear from a political candidate is good for us students," Rebecca Tew said.
h
"It really informs me so I'll be able to make good decisions while voting and be an informed voter," Jarom Morris said.
Balukoff says as current president of the Boise school board and a member for 17 years, education is of special concern to him.