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Proposition 1

Idaho Propositions 1, 2 and 3

Whether or not to repeal Idaho’s controversial new school reform laws is the hottest election issue in the state this year, with three referenda on the ballot.

A “yes” vote on Propositions 1, 2 and 3 would keep the “Students Come First” laws proposed by state schools Superintendent Tom Luna in place; a “no” vote would repeal them.

Because lawmakers pushed through follow-up bills adding emergency clauses to all three laws after opponents began gathering signatures for the referendum, the laws already have begun being phased in, rather than having been put on hold until the election; but that would stop if voters turn their thumbs down on some or all of the measures.

Luna promoted the reforms as a way to do more in Idaho schools without spending more money, after three years of unprecedented school budget cuts that he called Idaho’s “new normal.”

Results for each proposition are listed separately:


Proposition 1: Teacher Contracts
Referendum to Approve or Reject Legislation Limiting Negotiated Agreements Between Teachers and Local School Boards and Ending the Practice of Issuing Renewable Contracts

This measure rolls back most collective bargaining rights for teachers; makes all contract terms expire every year; limits contract negotiations only to salary and benefits; requires those negotiations to be conducted in open meetings; allows districts to impose terms if negotiations don’t yield agreement by a June deadline; and prohibits considering seniority when laying off teachers. It also eliminates an early retirement incentive program for teachers; requires parent input and student achievement to be factored into teacher evaluations; and eliminates the “99 percent” funding protection that school districts previously had when they lost large numbers of students from one year to the next, which previously held their state funding at 99 percent of the previous year’s to avoid sudden cutbacks including teacher layoffs. Requires information on liability insurance providers to be distributed to all teachers; in the past, many teachers have purchased such insurance through teachers unions.

Election results

76
Option Votes Pct
No 371,228 57.29%
Yes 276,715 42.71%

Related coverage

Idaho state schools Superintendent Tom Luna talks with reporters in November 2012, in his first public comments since his school reform laws were rejected by voters. (Betsy Russell)

Tue., Nov. 13, 2012

Luna accepts reform rejection 

BOISE – A subdued Tom Luna, Idaho state superintendent of schools, pledged Monday to work with all sides to bring back only the pieces of his voter-rejected “Students Come First” reforms on which broad agreement can be achieved. “I think it’s critical that we work together,” Luna said in his first public comments since last Tuesday’s election. Asked about the role of the Idaho Education Association, the state’s teachers union, Luna said, “We’ll sit down and meet with them.”

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Mon., Nov. 12, 2012, 4:19 p.m.

Luna pledges collaboration, opponents skeptical 11 

Mike Lanza, chairman of the campaign that successfully overturned controversial "Students Come First" school reform laws, reacted with suspicion today to state schools Superintendent Tom Luna's call for collaboration on new reform laws. "His entire track record is not one of collaboration, and we believe...

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Idaho state schools Superintendent Tom Luna talks with reporters Monday (Betsy Russell)

Mon., Nov. 12, 2012, 2:59 p.m.

Subdued Luna pledges collaboration on school reform 

A somewhat subdued Tom Luna, Idaho state superintendent of schools, pledged today to work with stakeholders to bring back only the pieces of his voter-rejected "Students Come First" school reform laws on which all sides can agree. "I think it's critical that we work together," Luna said in his first public comments since last Tuesday's election.

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Sun., Nov. 11, 2012

Eye on Boise: Lawmaker wants teacher bonus option 

BOISE – Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Coeur d’Alene, says he doesn’t want teachers to lose the $38.8 million in performance-pay bonuses that the state is scheduled to send out to school districts on Nov. 15 – he just wants it distributed differently than the voter-rejected Students Come First laws required. “I would like to see it go to the base, and let the teachers negotiate with their local school boards for it,” Hammond said. “Because I think it’s disingenuous … giving merit pay to people that don’t deserve it. I don’t want to do that to teachers.”

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Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna talks with reporters before the polls close at the Republican Party primary headquarters in Boise on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Thu., Nov. 8, 2012

Otter says he, Luna ready to talk about fixing education 

BOISE – After Idaho voters decisively rejected the Students Come First school reform laws on Tuesday, leaders on both sides were calling Wednesday for a new start on education reform. Mike Lanza, a Boise father of two who chaired the successful referendum campaign, said, “We want to sit down with our elected leaders – and that includes Superintendent (Tom) Luna – and begin the hard work that is required to forge real education reform.”

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Wed., Nov. 7, 2012, 1:50 p.m.

Contract: No cost to state now that Prop 3 voted down 

I've had several inquiries from readers concerned that now that voters have rejected Proposition 3, that the state would face costs related to the now-canceled $182 million laptop contract with Hewlett-Packard. I can verify that according to H-P's Business and Scope of Work Proposal, which...

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Wed., Nov. 7, 2012, 7:04 a.m.

All three school reform measures fail

With 93 percent of the vote counted, all three "Students Come First" school reform measures are being soundly defeated. That means the laws passed amid much controversy in 2011 are repealed. Here's where they stand: Proposition 1: 42.8% yes, 57.2% no Proposition 2: 42.1 percent...

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Wed., Nov. 7, 2012

Idaho voters push back on school reform issues 

BOISE – Idaho’s dominant Republican establishment appeared headed for a rare rebuke from voters Tuesday, as school reform measures pushed hard by state schools Superintendent Tom Luna and GOP Gov. Butch Otter trailed at the polls throughout the night. The three measures, Propositions 1, 2 and 3, became the hottest election issue in Idaho this year, eclipsing even the presidential race – which was a foregone conclusion for Idaho’s four electoral votes in the heavily GOP state that strongly favored Mitt Romney.

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