Opponents gathered enough signatures last year to put three measures on the ballot that, if approved, would overturn some of the biggest changes to Idaho’s public education system in decades. Luna’s reforms, along with the new classroom technology, limited collective bargaining talks to pay and benefits, nixed teacher tenure, and last year shifted funding away from salaries to help pay for the education changes.
Idaho also introduced a teacher merit pay plan under Luna’s changes.
Voters will be asked to approve or reject the legislation, which provides funding for the computer devices. In the request for proposals from computer companies, the state offers this warning: “The results of this referendum could affect funding for the Mobile Computing Initiative.”
The state Department of Education previously has indicated that teachers who receive laptops this fall might have to return the devices if the referendum succeeds. That’s because the classroom technology and merit pay funding likely would be redirected into a rainy day account for public education, officials have said.
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