About 100 Boise High School students are now gathered in the second-floor rotunda of the state capitol, where they're quietly doing their homework. It's part of walkouts at high schools across the state this morning in protest of the proposed school reform plan; the Associated Press reports that about 100 students walked out of classes at Meridian High School and more than 150 walked out at Nampa High. Students were also reported to have walked out of classes at other high schools in Boise, Caldwell and Pocatello.
“We are trying to show our disgust at the Legislature's passing of the two education bills so far, and that we would not like them to pass the third bill,” said Tyler Honsinger, an 18-year-old senior. “We're skipping class. I think everyone here agrees that the passage of these bills are more important than what we're doing in class today.” It'll affect their future schooling, he said.
The pending reform plan, proposed by state schools Supt. Tom Luna, calls for increasing class sizes in grades 4-12 and cutting 770 teaching jobs in the next two years, while boosting technology and implementing a teacher performance pay plan. The AP reported that students heard about the walkout via social media networks and text messages.