BOISE -- Despite their political differences, two freshmen senators from opposite political parties teamed up during the legislative session that ended Thursday to push through bipartisan education reform measures.

Emmett Republican Sen. Steven Thayn and Sen. Branden Durst, a Boise Democrat, both have a knack for bucking their respective party's playbook, but have also found common ground on new ideas for public education.

The political odd couple wrote one bill making permanent a pilot program they crafted together in 2010 giving bright teenagers who graduate early more than $1,000 in scholarships.

The other enables students to take advanced dual-credit courses.

Durst said working with Thayn has helped him make progress on issues he cares about.

Thayn said he doesn't mind ruffling feathers to pass legislation that helps advance student achievement.

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