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Wednesday, October 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Third day of heavily attended school reform hearings wraps up after three hours

Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, listens to testimony Thursday evening from opponents of the Luna school reform plan; at left is Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls; second from right is committee secretary Sara Pealy; and at right is Sen. John Andreason, R-Boise.
 (Betsy Russell)
Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, listens to testimony Thursday evening from opponents of the Luna school reform plan; at left is Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls; second from right is committee secretary Sara Pealy; and at right is Sen. John Andreason, R-Boise. (Betsy Russell)

The third straight day of heavily attended school reform hearings has wrapped up at close to 6 p.m. Boise time, after three hours. Of the 69 people who signed up to testify today, only six were in favor of the proposed school reform plan; all those testifying in the final hour are against it. Among them: Meridian high school student Kristen Drake told lawmakers, "Class sizes are already too high. There's no way that we can increase them. ... All of my classes are overcrowded. I currently have 42 students in my AP calculus class. Students who are not early to class have to sit on the floor."

Scott Hill, a charter school principal from Meridian, told the senators, "We know cuts are coming - we're not naive. We just ask to be a part of the solution." Marilyn Shuler, a former school board member and the former head of the Idaho Human Rights Commission, said the state will pay a "tremendous price" if it diminishes its public schools. "I'm willing to pay more taxes," she said. Businessman George Harad told the committee, "The proposal is half-baked and in many respects foolish."




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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