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Committee Sends Education Bills To Full House

Legislation to eliminate “tenure” for new teachers, restrict collective bargaining and introduce merit pay is headed to its final hurdle in the Republican-dominated Idaho Legislature. The House Education Committee signed off on the GOP-backed legislation after a nearly five-hour hearing this morning. It now goes to the full House. The two bills are part of public schools chief Tom Luna’s plan to reform K-12 education in Idaho, where furor over the proposal has triggered teacher and student protests. The House is taking up the legislation even as the centerpiece of Luna’s plan remains the Senate. The main bill in the reform package would boost technology in the classroom, require online courses and bump up minimum teacher pay while increasing class sizes to pay for the reforms and cutting 770 teaching positions. The bill is being reworked amid lawmaker concerns.

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