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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Idaho education "reforms" - similar to Florida laws - go down to defeat



Indiana wasn't the only state where voters sent a message that perhaps the education reform initiatives supported by Jeb Bush's Chiefs for Change aren't so welcome.

Despite a heavily Republican electorate, Idaho turned back three key measures deemed the "Luna Laws" after state superintendent of public instruction Tom Luna, a Bush ally. According to the Idaho Statesman, voters overwhelmingly rejected rules that would restrict teacher unions, tie teacher bonuses to student test results, and require high school students to earn at least one online course credit to graduate.

Luna had spent two years pushing the concepts.

Florida lawmakers have already succeeded in establishing the high school credit mandate and the connection of teacher pay to student outcomes. The latter came with Senate Bill 736, follow-up legislation to Senate Bill 6 that won then-governor Charlie Crist's veto. The Florida Legislature didn't have enough votes to override the veto at the time, but the next year it had a GOP veto-proof majority.

Of note, with the 2012 election cycle the Republicans lost that veto-proof majority in both the state House and Senate. Wonder what might happen next in Florida's reform efforts, where Gov. Rick Scott is pushing for expansion of charter schools and the State Board of Education must rewrite its teacher evaluation rules.

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 12:02pm]


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