Red, White & Blue 2012
Voters to determine fate of "Students Come First" laws; Both campaigns energized, ready for close race
Eric Fink has the story. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
Facing heavy opposition long before they were signed into law during the 2011 legislative session, the legitimacy of Idaho's "Students Come First" education reform laws will be decided by voters on November 6.
Campaign ads from both sides flood the airwaves as an up or down vote on Props 1, 2 and 3 is arguably the one to watch this fall.
Prop 1 centers around collective bargaining. Under "Students Come First," teachers collective bargaining rights are restructured to focus on salray and benefits.
"Previously before the laws went into place things like bell schedules, class time, student-contact time, were actually a part of contract negotiations," Ken Burgess, the campaign manager with "Yes" for Idaho said. "This doesn't prohibit teachers and even community members from having those same discussions, but what it does is it removes them from contract negotiations."
Opponents to Prop 1 argue the reform takes key classroom decisions out of the hands of teachers.
"Superintendent Luna essentially wants teachers not to have a voice on the things that matter most," Brian Cronin, an outgoing democratic state legislator, and "No" campaign spokesman said. "Things like scheduling, things like classroom supply, things like class safety, teachers can no longer talk about that when they are negotiating with their school districts, in fact it's illegal."
Both sides continue to make arguments for and against school reform in a passionate debate that's spanned nearly two years. But, perhaps the loudest statement will come at the ballot box this November?
Stay with the "On Your Side" news team for continuing coverage of the education propositions facing voters this fall.