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Eye On Boise archive for March 1, 2011


Centerpiece of Luna plan may be dead

The centerpiece of Idaho's controversial school reform plan may be dead for this year, senators indicated, even as separate bills on teacher contracts and pay move through hearings in the House. The main bill, SB 1113, was pulled back to the Senate Education Committee last…

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Chamber's job tax credit bill killed

The Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee has killed HB 126, the job tax credit bill proposed by the Idaho Chamber Alliance, amid concerns about how the bill would work and its potential fiscal impact. After two days of hearings, finishing up today, the committee…

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Among the possibilities: Just drop SB 1113 

Among the possibilities the Senate Education Committee is discussing: Not moving forward with SB 1113 at all. "I don't see any effort to move 1113 forward at this point," said committee Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene. "We may reformulate an RS. That RS could include…

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Final urban renewal bill killed, 27-43

The final urban renewal bill the House is taking up today, HB 114 from Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, would require a countywide vote to elect city urban renewal commissioners. It also would limit urban renewal boards to five members; they have varying numbers now,…

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Senate Ed begins school-reform discussion 

The Senate Education Committee has begun a discussion of possible changes to SB 1113, the centerpiece of state schools Supt. Tom Luna's school reform plan. Committee Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, said, "It's the intention of the chair to spend a half an hour or…

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Two more urban renewal bills pass House 

Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, is the sponsor of the next urban renewal bill, HB 97, which requires urban renewal plans to lay out specific projects in advance and be limited to only those projects; requires fixed termination dates; and requires any excess funds to…

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District opt-out bill passes House 

HB 96, Rep. Mike Moyle's bill to let any taxing district "opt out" of an urban renewal district, has passed the House on a 43-27 vote. "It makes them all come to the table," Moyle told the House. Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, debated in favor…

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Next one's more controversial...

Now the House is debating HB 96, another bill from Rep. Mike Moyle on urban renewal, this one letting any taxing district "opt out" of an urban renewal district. Moyle joked that he'd like to just use the previous vote; this one is more controversial.…

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Nonini: Committee likely to vote Thursday 

Rep. Bob Nonini, chairman of the House Education Committee, says the panel likely will finish public testimony tomorrow on SB 1108 and SB 1110, then begin hearing from stakeholder groups and questioning the bill's sponsors. "I really don't see us wrapping this up tomorrow," he…

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Testimony mostly against ed bills 

At the House Education Committee hearing this morning, so far 19 people have testified against SB 1108 and 1110, and five have testified in favor. Among all those signed up so far, there are now a total of 46 people who want to testify against…

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Nampa teacher Shannon Hotchkiss answers questions from House Education Committee members after her testimony against school reform bills on Tuesday. (Betsy Russell)

Testimony: 'Bunch of unknowns'

Shannon Hotchkiss, a teacher from Nampa, was quizzed by House Education Committee members after her testimony against SB 1108 and 1110. Asked if she'd ever seen a teacher be removed, she recalled an incident at her school 20 years ago in which a teacher was…

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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. (Betsy Russell)

Testimony: 'We can't choose our parents' 

Ryan Kerby, superintendent of schools in New Plymouth, testifying in favor of SB 1108 and 1110, said, "For students to learn more, instruction has to improve." Kerby said the pay-for-performance plan would have stronger support if there were money to fund it now. "You come…

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Idaho state schools Supt. Tom Luna, addressing the House Education Committee on Tuesday (Betsy Russell)

Luna: Current teacher pay system 'outdated'

Tom Luna, state schools superintendent, presenting SB 1110 to the House Education Committee, said, "The way we pay teachers is outdated. Nobody is happy with it." That's the bill that sets up a pay-for-performance plan for teachers. Luna said teachers could earn bonuses for things…

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.