Battle lines drawn over education reform laws

Credit: Eric Turner/KTVB

Battle lines drawn over education reform laws

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by Kim Fields

Bio | Email | Follow: @KimFieldsKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on June 26, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 12 at 1:32 PM

BOISE -- It's campaign season in Idaho, but political candidates aren't the only ones vying for votes.  The controversy over education reform is heating back up as the general election nears.  Voters will decide in November whether to overturn the Students Come First laws, and both sides of the issue are working hard to persuade voters.

A group called "Vote No on Propositions 1, 2, and 3" officially kicked off their campaign Tuesday outside Boise High School.  They are the same group who gathered more than 75,000 signatures to put the issue on the November ballot.

The Students Come First laws were enacted by the Idaho Legislature last year.  The laws restrict collective bargaining options for teachers, eliminate tenure, phase in the use of laptop computers, and require online courses. 

"They are not good for our schools.  If you think schools have problems now, this is only going to make the problems worse," said Josi Christensen, opponent of Students Come First.

Organizers of "Vote No on Propositions 1, 2, and 3" said they'll be staging a well-coordinated effort to get their message across before November.

Meanwhile, Melissa McGrath, spokeswoman for the Idaho Department of Education, said the state is moving forward with implementing Students Come First laws, despite efforts to repeal them.

"These laws have been in place now for more than a year, almost two years," said McGrath.  "And we are moving forward and implementing these laws and making sure they're successful in every school across the state," said McGrath.

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