Senate OK’s committee to study K-12 education

A legislative committee will spend the summer conducting its own study of education reform issues.

The Senate voted 33-1 to create an “interim committee” on education — at the same time Gov. Butch Otter’s task force continues to scrutinize education issues.

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Sen. John Goedde, R- Coeur d’Alene

The legislative panel could offer a contrast to the governor’s task force recommendations, said Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, one of the task force’s 31 members.

House Concurrent Resolution 33 spells out a broad focus for the interim committee: “to undertake and complete a study of how to improve and strengthen Idaho’s K-12 educational system and all matters relating thereto.” The committee’s work scope is, in one key respect, more broad than that of the task force. The task force has ruled out reviewing collective bargaining issues — and Goedde believes this will be a focus of the interim committee.

The Senate vote, and the lack of debate, represented a stark contrast from a Senate Education hearing last week, when senators came within a vote of derailing the interim committee.

HCR 33 has passed the House last week on a 62-7 vote.

Concurrent resolutions do not require the governor’s signature, so the Senate vote gives HCR 33 final approval.