BOISE -- The last major education reform bill passed through the House Education Committee today.
The bill outlines paying for reform and increases technology in the classroom.
The plan redirects money in the schools budget for salaries to fund new technology in the classroom and a teacher pay-for-performance plan.
Idaho State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna also said this plan will help to fill a technology gap that Idaho students are facing and if that gap isn't filled, students will fall behind.
The use of technology, the proper amount and the proper implementation of technology, will help our education system not become more efficient but also more effective, Luna said. We need to give students access to the highest quality instructors and the highest quality instruction no matter where they live and the proper implementation of technology will make that happen. A child's education opportunities shouldn't be limited by where they live. It shouldn't be limited by geography. It shouldn't be limited by bell schedules and school calendars and this bill helps to create the 21st century classroom that removes all of those barriers.
Public testimony and debate lasted about four hours Tuesday morning.
Sherri Wood, president of the Idaho Education Association, agrees that teachers want to see more technology in the classroom, but she doesn't think this is the right time to do it.
Others who testified expressed concern that this plan would force schools to cut teaching jobs, slash pay or increase class sizes to fund the plan.
The commitee passed the bill with a 12 to 6 vote.
The bill, which passed the Senate last week, now heads to the House of Representatives for a vote.