BOISE -- Lawmakers are advancing the third piece of a plan to reform Idaho's public schools, with legislation to boost technology in the classroom.

The Senate Education Committee voted 6-3 to approve the bill, with supporters convinced they need to restructure how Idaho's scarce education dollars are spent.

The panel sent the measure, which has undergone significant changes since it was first introduced, to the Senate for debate.

Public school trustees, administrators and the statewide teachers union testified in support of efforts to boost technology in the classroom -- but not the plan to pay for it. The legislation would shift money from school funding used primarily for teacher salaries to finance the technology upgrades and merit pay.

The bill is part of a reform package authored by schools chief Tom Luna.

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