BOISE -- It's President's Day, and that means several closures today, including, state and federal offices, public schools, libraries, post offices, and some banks.But some groups are using the holiday to get their message out.

Thousands of teachers, parents, and students will be spending their day off protesting Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna's plan to overhaul the state's education system.

More than 1,000 people rallied in front of the Idaho Capitol.

Protesters gathered at Capitol Park in downtown Boise and chanted Kill the Bills! while waving signs that read Save Our Teachers.

Other rallies are scheduled to take place today in Lewiston, Moscow, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Hailey, Nampa, Payette, Blackfoot and Middleton.

The rallies have been organized by the Idaho Education Association.

Luna's plan would require high school students to take four online courses, introduce merit pay for teachers and end tenure for new teachers. It would also eliminate about 770 teaching positions.

This is at least the second time pro-education groups have rallied at the Capitol. Demonstrators say they're continuing to do so because they don't feel like their voices are being heard.

They argue that more than 90 percent of Idahoans are against Luna's education reforms, yet just last week the Senate Education Committee voted to send all three bills of the reform plan to the full Senate.

The Senate is expected to take up the measure this week.

The legislation still has a long way to go.

It must pass the Senate and the House, and must be signed by the governor before students and teachers see any changes.

Luna has said the changes are necessary to educate more students at a higher level with limited resources.

He says the current system is not sustainable and that educating students for the 21st century using a 19th century model doesn't make sense.

But these demonstrators say the reform plan is an attack on fair treatment for Idaho teachers and would reward an extensive network of campaign contributors and corporations.

Also this morning, around two dozen teachers, parents and kids stood in front of the Middleton Public Library letting people know what they think of Luna's education reform plan.

Their message is that Luna and lawmakers aren't listening.

They're worried the Students Come First Plan will short-change their children's education.

The major concerns I have just right off the top are class sizes, said parent Jenny Easley. I have a 4th grader that has 33 kids in his class this year. They have 26 in their second grade class. Class sizes getting too big, it does hamper education.

Many at the Middleton rally wore blue ribbons for solidarity.

One teacher said educators at the middle school have been wearing the ribbons to school since last Thursday.

They hope after today's rally that lawmakers start to listen to what teachers, parents and students want.

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