Teachers, Students Spend Holiday Picketing Luna

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With placards reading, "A teacher, not a computer, changed my life," "Will there be a desk for me?" and "I'm no longer a Republican," nearly a 1,000 teachers and children filled Boise's Capitol Park at noon today. Protesters targeted Idaho school chief Tom Luna and his plans to reform public education, including increasing class size, eliminating nearly 1,000 teaching positions, handing out laptops to high schoolers and requiring online education. Similar rallies were scheduled today for Blackfoot, Coeur d'Alene, Hailey, Moscow, Nampa, Payette, Pocatello and Twin Falls.

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After listening to public testimony, which weighed in at four to one against Luna's plans, the Senate Education Committee voted to forward the measures to the full Senate, which is expected to begin debate on the proposals this week.

Sen. John Andreason of Boise was the only Republican to join the two Democrats on the committee in voting against all three bills. Sen. Mitch Toryanski, also a Boise Republican, voted against the plan to distribute laptops while increasing class size.

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