Luna’s Education Plan Introduced To Full Senate
Lawmakers have taken the first step in reforming public education in Idaho. The Senate Education Committee approved the three bills under Superintendent Tom Luna’s reform plan yesterday. It has been the subject of intense debate at the statehouse and in all corners of the state and also sparked physical and property attacks on the plan's founder. After the vote, Luna said he and his staff were excited that the plan passed the first hurdle. He said as a result of the changes, some senate education leaders felt more comfortable with the plan and supported it. While the changes Luna made to the legislation alleviated some lawmaker concerns they did little to appease the state teachers union. Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder, who is also a member of the Senate Education Committee, says this is the first stage in moving Tom Luna's proposal forward. Senator John Andreason of Boise was the only Republican to join the two Democrats on the Senate Education Committee in voting against all three bills of the reform plan. Republicans who backed Luna's plan noted the unprecedented level of public testimony on it. They said while there are some concerns they believe the proposed overhaul needs to go before more lawmakers.