House Education Committee Chairman Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, told the House that his committee heard supportive testimony on SB 1199 today from the Idaho School Boards Association, the Idaho Association of School Administrators, and the Idaho Education Association. “There was no opposition to this whatsoever,” DeMordaunt said. “In addition, we had a number of teachers there on their own accord who were strongly in favor of this. So it clearly is an idea that has strong support.” The bill then passed the House on a 51-12 vote, with all 12 opponents coming from the GOP side; it now goes to the governor’s desk.
This is the bill that broke the impasse over the Senate-defeated public school budget; it separates two programs that had been included in the budget, for $21 million in a combination of locally-directed teacher merit bonuses and professional development, and $3 million in technology pilot program grants, into a bill that went through the education committees, rather than just being in the budget bill.
Those voting “no” were Reps. Barbieri, Barrett, Boyle, Gestrin, Crane, Palmer, Harris, McMillan, Monks, Sims, Wood(35), and Holtzclaw.
With that bill passed, the House adjourned until 9 a.m. tomorrow.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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