House Assistant Minority Leader James Ruchti, D-Pocatello, says Democrats and education stakeholders have been working with state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna for weeks on ways to find savings in the school budget, but were never informed about the far-reaching bills introduced this morning. “Suddenly here it is,” he said. “We’ve got parents all over the state who have no idea this train is coming down the track,” with “monumental changes.” In the legislation proposed this morning by House Education Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, “You’re putting jobs at risk at a time when unemployment is spiraling in the state,” Ruchti said. “I’m really surprised the superintendent and the House education chairman would take this approach.” He added, “In an economic crisis like we have right now, they’re going to throw this bombshell into it. … What they’re going to get right now is a fight on this.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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