Second Education Bill Passes House
A second bill in State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna's education reform has won approval from the Idaho House of Representatives. This morning's vote was 44-26 in favor of the bill. It has already won approval from the Idaho Senate and now goes to the governor. This comes just one day after lawmakers passed the first reform bill and sent it to Govormor Butch Otter for his signature. That passage came after many protests from teachers, students and others, and spurred a new series of protest rallies around the state. Senate Bill 1108 phases out tenure for teachers, limits collective bargaining agreements to one year and ties teacher and administrator evaluations to student achievement. It is one of three bills to overhaul K-12 public education in Idaho. There were 48 representatives who voted for that bill and 22 against it. Those 22 "no" votes came from all 13 House Democrats and nine Republicans. Luna says he is working on introducing a new version of the third bill that would fund the plan and increase technology in the classroom, require online courses and increase class sizes to pay for the reforms. Luna is confident that bill can still win full legislative approval.