Thursday, February 24, 2011

First Luna Reform Bill Passes Senate 20-15

Posted By on Thu, Feb 24, 2011 at 3:06 PM

The first of Tom Luna's controversial three-pronged sweeps of Idaho classrooms has passed through the Idaho Senate on a vote 20-15. Among other things, Senate Bill 1108—which guts teacher contract rights—would phase out tenure, eliminate seniority as a factor in layoffs and eliminate early retirement incentive programs.

Three hours of spirited debate included some opposition from both sides of the aisle.

"I'm concerned how mean-spirited this bill seems to be," said Democratic Sen. Michelle Stennett of Ketchum.

"I reject the idea that we have to do it today," said Republican Sen. Tim Corder of Mountain Home.

But in the end, a Republican majority won over.

"This bill is about starting over," said Republican Sen. Jim Hammond of Coeur d'Alene. "It's about building a new paradigm for instruction."

Republican Sens. John Andreason, Joyce Broadsword, Dean Cameron, Tim Corder, Denton Darrington, Shawn Keough, Joe Stegner and John Tippets joined seven Democrats in a losing effort. All 20 votes for the measure were from Republicans.

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