Sen. Joyce Broadsword, back row center, spoke in JFAC on Monday morning against a move to block the state Liquor Division from opening more stores until 9 p.m. on temperance grounds; Rep. John Vander Woude, R-Nampa, front row right, spoke in favor of the move, which failed; the committee then put off setting the Liquor Division budget until Tuesday.
About 100 Boise High School students gathered in the Capitol rotunda on Monday morning, where they sat quietly doing their homework as part of a statewide walkout at Idaho high schools in protest of the proposed school reform plan.
High school students protest outside the Idaho state capitol on Monday against state schools Supt. Tom Luna's school reform plan.
Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, pitches his texting-while-driving bill, HB 141, to the House Transportation Committee on Monday afternoon. The bill would still permit texting while driving if the driver exercises "due care." Hagedorn said the toned-down bill was negotiated with groups ranging from sheriffs to insurance companies.
Colton Grainger, 16, of Meridian, urges members of the House Transportation Committee on Monday to pass HB 141, the "lite" texting-while-driving bill. Grainger said the bill is a start, and the state must address the issue.
State schools Supt. Tom Luna speaks to the House Education Committee as it opens its hearing Tuesday morning on two of his school reform bills, which last week passed the Senate. They target existing teacher contract rights and impose a pay-for-performance plan for teachers.
Idaho state schools Supt. Tom Luna, addressing the House Education Committee on Tuesday
New Plymouth school Supt. Ryan Kerby answers questions from Rep. Tom Trail, R-Moscow, during a House Education Committee hearing on Tuesday morning. Kerby was one of eight people who signed up to testify in favor of SB 1108 and SB 1110; 34 people signed up to testify against the bills, which target teacher contract rights and impose a pay-for-performance plan for teachers.
Nampa teacher Shannon Hotchkiss answers questions from House Education Committee members after her testimony against school reform bills on Tuesday.
House Education Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, presides over the House Education Committee hearing Tuesday on two school reform bills, SB 1108 on teacher contracts and SB 1110 on teacher pay for performance. The committee took four hours of testimony, and then broke until the following morning.
Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, argues in favor of the first in a slew of anti-urban renewal bills taken up by the House on Tuesday afternoon.
Student Brock McConnehey was the first to testify Wednesday morning at the second day of House Education Committee hearings on SB 1108, the teacher contract bill, and SB 1110, the teacher merit pay bill.
Boise school trustee Janet Orndorff testifies Wednesday against SB 1108, the teacher contract bill, and SB 1110, the teacher merit pay bill. She said the measures are problematic for Idaho school districts and will "devastate rural districts."
Brian Smith, a government teacher from Sandpoint High School, testifying against the teacher contract bill, SB 1108, in the House Education Committee on Wednesday, asked, "If this is about local control, then why doesn't my district have the right to continue a process that works for our students and our community?"
Idaho state schools Supt. Tom Luna addresses the Idaho Press Club on Wednesday; he said he thought student opposition to his school reform plan was due to "misinformation."
The House Education Committee opens its hearing on Thursday morning, back in its regular committee room after two days of public hearings in the Capitol Auditorium. Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, said his intention is that the committee will vote on both bills, SB 1108 and SB 1113, by the end of the meeting.
House Education Committee members question Jason Hancock, aide to state schools Supt. Tom Luna, on Thursday morning about SB 1108 and SB 1110, the teacher contract bill and the teacher merit pay bill.
Sherri Wood, president of the Idaho Education Association, urges the House Education Committee to kill SB 1108, which she called "nothing short of the most mean-spirited and egregious attacks on teachers that Idaho has ever seen." At left is state schools Supt. Tom Luna, who proposed the bill.
Phil Homer of the Idaho Association of School Administrators tells the House Education Committee, 'It's time to slow down" on teacher pay-for-performance legislation, and start with pilot programs to see how they work - because there's no funding now for a statewide program.
Idaho schools Supt. Tom Luna makes his closing pitch to the House Education Committee on Thursday on SB 1108, the teacher contracts bill, and SB 1110, the teacher pay for performance bill. In response to criticisms of the legislation, he said, "The teacher isn't the problem, the teacher is the solution."
Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, center, presides over the House Education Committee on Thursday. The committee passed both SB 1108 and SB 1110, the teacher contract and teacher merit pay bills, on 13-5 votes; they now move to the full House for a final vote.
The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, at its early-morning briefing on Friday, discusses higher education budgets. In the foreground are co-chairs Maxine Bell, left, and Dean Cameron, right; legislative budget analyst Paul Headlee is presenting the figures to the joint committee.
Members of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee work on setting the budget for the state Department of Administration on Friday morning.
Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, proposed deeper cuts to higher education in Friday morning's JFAC meeting, saying the joint budget committee isn't on track otherwise to balance the state budget.
Sen. Dean Mortimer, front right, made the successful motion for higher education funding in the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Friday morning; it cuts state general funds by 3.5 percent, but reflects an overall increase of 5 percent in total funds.