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Public school teachers in Idaho who earned merit-based bonuses will be paid their additional income even though the law that allowed for the pay-for-performance compensation was overturned in the Nov. 6 general election. The announcement came from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna during a Monday afternoon press briefing at the Idaho Department of Education offices in Boise. It…

The Idaho State Liquor Division has a new plan: Spend $15,000 of liquor division dedicated fund money on a website to offer “drink recipes” and “party planning tips” to consumers, and $197,000 to expand five existing liquor stores. The proposal is outlined in the division’s appropriation request document for 2013. “Over the last 15 years or so, the spirits industry…

A law that offers bonus pay to high-achieving teachers. A law that offers the opportunity for students to take online courses, and earn college credit while in high school. And a law that requires local school districts to be transparent with how they spend taxpayers’ money and negotiate union contracts. Idaho’s 2011 Legislature and Gov. Butch Otter thought they were…

Voters on Tuesday rejected laws passed by the Legislature in 2011 reforming how public education works in Idaho. All three propositions on the ballot fell by wide margins, according to unofficial results from the secretary of state’s office. More than 56 percent of Idaho voters rejected Proposition 1, which put limits on master teacher contracts and required agreements to be negotiated in…

Gov. Butch Otter has received his recommendation: Build a state-based health insurance exchange. But how it would be built and how it would be funded remain unclear. And the governor’s health care exchange task force is an advisory committee only; the governor can accept, reject or modify the recommendation. Or come up with something of his own. Last week members…

The rate of employment among administrators and non-teaching staff has increased more than three times the rate of increase in student enrollment in Idaho during the period 1992 to 2009, according to an Indiana-based nonprofit organization. In a report released this week, “The School Staffing Surge: Decades of Employment Growth In America’s Public Schools,” Benjamin Scafidi, Ph.D, associate professor of…

Note: This is the third of a three-part series on responses to a survey sent to general election candidates. On Tuesday, the series looked at education-related issues including Propositions 1, 2 and 3 and funding for K-12 and higher education. Wednesday IdahoReporter.com published candidate responses on health care insurance exchanges, Medicaid expansion and the budget for the state Department of…