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Concerned group speaks out against the new educational reform in Idaho

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TWIN FALLS, ID. (KMVT-TV) Less money coming in for the state of Idaho's budget caused superintendent Tom Luna to propose major education reforms which were contained in three bills passed by the Idaho Legislature and signed into law by Governor Butch Otter. Deborah Silver is the chairman for the Twin Falls County Democrats. She said I'm all for having technology in the schools. However, I think having fewer teachers in order to have more computers is not the answer. Silver also says while merit pay for teachers is a great idea right now it's not funded at the state level. She says that means that school boards and counties would have to come up with that money which would put them at odds with teachers and parents. The third issue deals with contracts for teachers. Silver said it just nullifies those contracts, as well as a lot of other things. And actually that one is going to court. Because if you negotiate good faith, there's a problem when you turn around and say those aren't good anymore. Silver says the state of Idaho gives over a billion dollars in tax exemptions every year to things as small as driver's education cars. She says taking another look at whether some of those exemptions should be done away with could result in increased revenue for the state budget. Special interests have lobbyists, they're there all the time, and they are lobbying for their exemption. We don't have the time, this is all volunteer time to go up and talk to these folks, and it was virtually ignored.


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