CdA students cancel walkout due to levy concerns

Coeur d’Alene High School students canceled a Monday morning walk-out to protest Idaho’s controversial school reform plan after the organizer said he didn’t want to jeopardize public support for Tuesday’s levy election.

“We talked to the administration, and we didn’t want to give the impression that students are against the levy,” said Jesse Wedewer, a junior at Coeur d’Alene High.

The Coeur d’Alene School District is asking voters to approve a $12.8 million-a-year, two-year maintenance and operations levy that would increase taxes by about $68 per year for the average Coeur d’Alene homeowner.

Instead, Wedewer is urging students to attend an after-school rally Wednesday to support teachers.

Wedewer said he’s been following the Idaho Legislature’s actions on school reform with concern. Last week, state senators indicated that the most controversial part of schools Superintendent Tom Luna’s plan was dead. It would have raised Idaho’s class sizes in grades 4-12 and cut 770 teaching jobs over the next two years, generating millions in savings would have been funneled into technology, including laptop computers for every high school student.

However, legislation removing most of teachers’ collective bargaining rights and establishing a performance-pay plan for teachers continues to move forward.

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