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Volunteer group talks locally-driven education reform

By Stephanie Hale-Lopez
Published On: Nov 14 2012 09:25:45 PM CST

Wednesday night, a volunteer-based group will meet to discuss locally-driven education reform, and they're asking for public input.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Last week, Idaho voters struck down education propositions 1, 2 and 3; also known as the "Luna Laws."

Since then, many have been questioning the future of public education in the state.

Wednesday night, a volunteer-based group will meet to discuss locally-driven education reform, and they're asking for public input.

For the last couple of months, the Idaho Education Association's Education Excellence Task Force has been researching reform solutions for public schools. Now, they'll present their findings and ask for feedback.

"We want the best for our kids, whatever the laws are," said Angela Gillman, task force member.

A sentiment felt by many. The IEA advocates for teacher incentives, quality curricula, and student achievement.

The goal of the 12-member task force is to create a vision for what the future of public education in Idaho should look like.

"We want to have good teachers in our classrooms, we want to have good curriculum, we want to have technology we can use with students," said Gillman.

While issues like technology, teacher pay incentives and classroom structure sound similar to propositions 1, 2 and 3 ... task force members say they're unrelated to the so-called Luna Laws.

"It so happens that the propositions were coming up at the same time, so we run parallel, but we weren't coming together at a crash site," said Gillman.

While educators say their input didn't contribute to Luna's reform laws, they were able to collaborate with the task force.

"This will be an opportunity where we can come together and figure out solutions so we can get the best education for our children," said Emilie Cornell, task force member.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the O.E. Bell Building in Idaho Falls.

Members of the task force represent a wide range of occupations, from teachers and specialists to support staff and university liaisons.

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