Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, said it's been a “difficult” legislative session for him. “I'm proud of the work that we've done in the education reform arena,” he said, “and it's a good first step. As we go to implement it, there may be some changes that need to be made, and that's part of the process. I look forward to working with educators over the interim to address those issues.”
Asked about the prospect of a voter referendum to overturn the reforms, Goedde said, “'Certainly that's the constitutional right of the voters. I think that if this is on the ballot in November of 2012, that there's a very good chance the voters of the state of Idaho will sustain the work that we've done.” He said he's already hearing stories about teachers coming up with ideas on how they'd earn bonuses under the plan - but those don't start until 2013. Next year, in 2012, teachers will receive a pay cut, under the school budget that lawmakers approved. “That's a function of revenue,” Goedde said. “Next year, if the revenue picture looks rosier, we can allocate additional funds to K-12, if that's the will of the body.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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