Tuesday, March 1, 2011

House Committee Begins Hearing on Luna Reform Plans

Posted By on Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 10:20 AM

The House Education Committee wasted no time to take up Tom Luna's controversial plans to reform Idaho classroom.

The Superintendent of Public Instruction formally introduced two of his three bills this morning, the same two that have already passed through the state Senate. A third bill, which would eliminate nearly 1,000 teaching positions and increase class size, is expected to be debated this afternoon in front of the Senate Education Committee.

The House committee heard testimony this morning on Luna's proposals to gut collective bargaining, trim tenure and introduce a pay-for-performance plan for Idaho teachers.

"We have to change the system permanently," Luna told lawmakers. "It's not comfortable for everyone in education or outside. Change never is."

The committee then listened to teachers, parents and students, testifying on both sides of the debate.

Dottie Douglas, Boise mother of two: "Luna ran for election on unstated promises. He didn't present this plan during the election."

Ashley Hollister, Boise High student: "Where is the proof that getting rid of collective bargaining would help students to achieve?"

Ryan Kerby, school superintendent from New Plymouth: "I think this is a great opportunity to pay teachers more."

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