Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The state Department of Education has hired a program specialist to help implement sweeping changes for Idaho's public schools. The agency says Travis Drake came aboard last Wednesday and will help carry out the new education laws, along with other programs and department initiatives. Idaho will introduce teacher merit pay and shift money from salaries toward classroom technology, phasing in laptops for teachers and students, under the changes backed by public schools chief Tom Luna and the governor in the 2011 session. Luna has already reassigned two staffers within his department to carry out the changes signed into law this year. Luna's agency says the new position was created using savings found within the education department. Drake, a recent Seattle Pacific University graduate and intern during the 2011 Idaho Legislature, will earn $41,600 annually.