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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

House Ed backs ‘8 in 6’ plan for high schoolers, with hope that ‘bugs’ will be worked out

The House Education Committee has voted unanimously in favor of HB 426, a proposal from Rep. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett, to set up an "8 in 6 program" in which the state would pay for up to eight extra or summer classes a year for students who want to finish high school with up to two years of college credit or a vocational certificate. The idea is that what normally would take eight years - two years of junior high, four years of high school, and the first two years of college - would be completed in just six years, at the time the student normally would graduate from high school.

Lawmakers on the committee raised several questions about how the bill would work, including the lack of a requirement that the extra courses actually be ones that count toward graduation or a degree. But Rep. Brian Cronin, D-Boise, said, "I say in all earnestness, Rep. Thayn, I appreciate your constant willingness to think outside the box. I think this is a really creative approach." He said though there are questions and concerns, "I think towards the end of trying to get more students into college, through college, and obviously saving some money, this is an idea that I wish to support." Rep. Rich Wills, R-Glenns Ferry, said he, too, would support the bill. "I just hope we get the bugs worked out before it actually becomes law," he said.

Committee Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, suggested that if there are 'bugs,' senators might fix them through their amending order. "It's called the 14th Order," he said.

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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