After voters rejected the controversial Students Come First education laws last night, members of the Vote No campaign gathered outside of Boise High this morning.
Vote No campaign chairman Mike Lanza said that the results of the referenda are clear. He says that voters showed how much they care about local control in Idaho’s schools, and he characterized the election results as “glorious.”
Lanza reached out to state superintendent Tom Luna, who championed the Students Come First laws.
“We want to sit down with our elected leaders – and that includes Superintendent Luna – and begin the hard work that is required to forge real education reform,” said Lanza.
Idaho Education Association President Penni Cyr spoke on behalf of the members of the IEA.
“We’re heartened by the support of hundreds of thousands of Idahoans who cast their votes," Cyr said. "It’s up to us, the adults, to model how grownups with diverse views can come together, put their differences aside and go forward.”
Superintendent Luna released this statement this morning:
“I still believe that Idahoans want better schools through education reform. I still believe that empowering local school boards, phasing out tenure, giving parents input on evaluations, helping students take dual credit, paying teachers for more than just years of experience and amount of education, and making sure every classroom is a 21st Century Classroom are critical if we want an education system that meets the needs of every child. We have now had a 22-month discussion about what this should look like. I understand Idahoans have expressed concerns, yet I do not believe any Idahoan wants to go back to the status quo system we had two years ago. I am as committed as anyone to finding a way to make this happen. We must find a way because our children’s future is at stake.”
Another vocal supporter of the Students Come First laws, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, also reacted to the referenda:
“The people have spoken, so I’m not discouraged. That’s how our system works. But it’s important to remember that the public conversation that began almost two years ago isn’t over – it’s only begun. Our workforce, our communities and most of all our students still deserve better, and our resources are still limited. We offered these reforms not because we sought change for change’s sake, but because change is needed to afford our young people the opportunities they deserve now and for decades to come. That’s as true today as it was yesterday, so our work for a brighter and better future continues.”
Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio