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State Lawmakers Make Changes To Idaho Education Reform Law

It was a busy day for education at the statehouse Monday.  A measure clarifying when parents will start to play a role in the evaluation of their child’s teacher has cleared the Idaho Legislature.  Meanwhile, over in the senate, senators voted in favor of deleting a portion of Idaho’s new education laws that defines an online course.

The Idaho Senate voted 33-0 Monday to remove a provision in the education reform law that says teachers and students must be separate during the online instruction. The clause aimed to ensure the state was providing distance education, as the new education changes intended. But Republican Senator Dean Mortimer of Idaho Falls says the distance provision could also cause problems, such as prohibiting a teacher from loading online course material in the same school where students are taking the class. As for the parental input bill, it cleared the house 68-0 and is now headed to the governor’s desk. The legislation cleared the Senate last week as state lawmakers work to refine a sweeping education overhaul that was introduced last year by public schools chief Tom Luna. Under the education changes signed into law last spring, at least half of a teacher’s job evaluation will be based on student achievement starting July 1st, and parental input will also be a factor. But to some school districts, the law was unclear as to when the parents become involved.

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