Major Idaho Businesses Support GOP Education Plan

Wednesday, 23 Feb 2011 01:19 PM

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Major business leaders in Idaho are supporting a Republican-backed education reform plan there, the Idaho Statesman reported Wednesday. The Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry paid between $15,000 and $20,000 for automated phone calls Monday in support of the reforms.

The proposed changes include limiting the collective bargaining rights of teachers unions, eliminating tenure for new teachers, a pay-for-performance plan, boosting teacher pay, eliminating 770 teaching jobs, and boosting technology and online learning while increasing class sizes.

Butch Otter, Idaho, superintendent, education
Gov. Butch Otter
Republican Gov. Butch Otter and schools chief Tom Luna are proposing the plan, which also has the support of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Idaho Business Coalition for Education Excellence.

Organizers said thousands listened to the call, which consisted of an hour-long question-and-answer session with the governor and Luna. State Sen. John Goedde and Rep. Bob Nonini, both Republicans who chair the education committees in the legislature, also participated in the call.

The call was the latest in the fight for the “Students Come First” reforms, which includes the teachers’ union and others spending money on ads across the state opposing it.

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