BOISE -- Idaho lawmakers have retired an incentives program for teachers considering an early end to their careers.

The House on Thursday voted 54-15 on a bill to do away with early retirement benefits for teachers in the final years of their careers.

The program was initially dumped under the 2011 Students Come First laws, but reinstated when voters repealed those measures in November.

Republican Rep. Judy Boyle of Midvale said many teachers would choose to retire regardless of whether the program stays in place.

But Democratic opponents argued replacing veteran teachers with younger, less-expensive educators saves money.

Boise Rep. Janie Ward-Engelking said the program has saved Idaho $100 million since its creation in 1996.

The bill has already passed the Senate and now heads to the governor.

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