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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

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

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

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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)

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