February 23, 2011 in Idaho

Idaho school reform bill pulled from Senate

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Betsy Russell photo

Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, praises the hundreds and hundreds of people who participated in hearings on school reform over the past two weeks; his comments came late Thursday, after the committee he chairs approved all three bills in the Luna school reform plan, sending them on to the full Senate - though one just squeaked through on a 5-4 vote.
(Full-size photo)

BOISE - The Idaho Senate has agreed to send SB 1113, the main bill of state schools Superintendent Tom Luna’s school reform package, back to the Senate Education Committee.

“We still have a little bit of work to do on this,” Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, told the Senate. “We tried and it didn’t quite get there. We’re going to try again.”

The Senate unanimously agreed to move the bill back to the committee; it also held the other two reform bills, SB 1108 and SB 1110, until tomorrow.

SB 1113 is the centerpiece of the reform plan, which calls for increasing class sizes in grades 4-12 and eliminating 770 teaching jobs in the next two years, to save millions that would be funneled into technology upgrades, a laptop computer for every high school student, a teacher performance pay plan and more.

In response to the move, Luna issued this statement: “This is another positive step toward reforming education in Idaho. Two of the Students Come First bills will be taken up on the Senate floor tomorrow. If there are improvements that can be made to Senate Bill 1113, we are open to those ideas. This is how the legislative process works, and I look forward to working with the Senate to pass this reform package.”

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