Luna, Cronin to debate 'Students Come First' Tuesday

Tom Luna and Brian Cronin

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by Natalie Podgorski

KTVB.COM

Posted on October 2, 2012 at 8:11 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 2 at 8:38 AM

BOISE -- Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna will join State Representative Brian Cronin for a highly-anticipated debate on propositions 1, 2 and 3 of the "Students Come First" education reforms Tuesday.

The City Club of Boise is hosting the debate to give Idaho voters a better understanding of what the propositions mean for students, parents, teachers, and taxpayers. That's because voters will have the opportunity to overturn "Students Come First" on Election Day 2012 via a recall vote.

WHERE AND WHEN

Tuesday's debate begins at 11:45 a.m. at the Grove Hotel in downtown Boise. However, the event is currently full, and RSVPs are no longer being accepted. For more information, see the City Club of Boise website.

KTVB will broadcast the debate on "Idaho's Very Own 24/7" on October 3rd, at 7 p.m., and October 4th, at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

CONTROVERSY AND THE LAW

Luna, who was first elected Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2006, introduced the controversial education reforms soon after being re-elected in 2010. The move shocked many, and generated opposition throughout the state. Teachers and school administrators were particularly outspoken against the reforms. Lawmakers eventually passed the legislation in 2011.

The group "Idaho Parents and Teachers Together" protested the reforms, and successfully collected enough signatures to put propositions 1, 2, and 3 up for a recall vote in 2012.

'STUDENTS COME FIRST' EXPLAINED, AGAIN

Superintendent Luna is expected to present and argue for his plan once again. He'll likely summarize how the plan shifts funding priorities to reward teachers with financial bonuses for student performance, requires school districts to provide laptop computers for teachers and high school students, and mandates online courses.

Cronin will likely argue that Luna's plan is a union-busting measure because it limits collective bargaining and ends the practice of issuing continuing contracts. There also are concerns about reduced state funding for public schools and larger class sizes.

Superintendent Luna and Representative Cronin will take questions from the City Club of Boise audience after the debate.

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