Idahoans speak out on education reform

Jusin Corr:

It was a packed house today as teachers, parents, superintendents, and members of the community showed up to voice their concerns or approval for Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna’s comprehensive plan for education reform.
It was also a historic day at the Statehouse as the Joint Finance-Appropriation Committee took public comment for the first time ever, and boy did they ever take public comment.
It was standing room only as people crowded in to give their 3-minute testimonies on Luna’s plan to overhaul K-12 education in Idaho.
“Hansen has been hit hard by the cuts to education,” said teacher Lauren Peters. “Unlike many districts, we were unable to pass our override levy. So our children lost out. Our drama and music classes are entirely gone.”
“We don’t have the money,” said Danielle Aarons, a mother. “We have to make cuts. It’s not fun, it’s hard. But at home, in our budgets, this is what we have to do. It’s simple math.”
The first major point of Luna’s plan includes merit pay for teachers and doing away with their tenure.
“Currently, there is no accountability system where districts, schools, or teachers are recognized or rewarded for top performance, or corrected when performance is poor,” said Colby Gull, Superintendent of Challis schools.