Idaho voters delivered a resounding defeat to three new education laws. Voters said no to limits on teacher bargaining rights, to creating a pay-for-performance system and to ramping up classroom technology. Opponents were successful, in part, by billing the laws as an attack on teachers.
When the first results came in, the Vote No campaign brought out the bagpipes.
Opponents of Props 1, 2 and 3 went head to head with Idaho's Republican state superintendent Tom Luna, who pushed the laws through the legislature.
Brian Cronin of the Vote No campaign says Idaho voters saw real life effects of the changes.
Cronin: “And when you start talking about people's children and people's livelihoods, and sort of demeaning professionals who have dedicating their lives to educate kids, it gets serious in a hurry. And that's really what's happened here.”
Both sides brought in record amounts of money. The National Education Association teachers union contributed more than a million dollars to the no side.
But Becky Allen says the campaign was mainly driven by individual parents and teachers. Allen is both. She teaches fourth grade in Boise, and she hopes the results send a message to state lawmakers about teachers.
Allen: “We really are the experts. We really do know what we're talking about. We see these kids every day. And I'm hoping they allow all of us to come to the table and really look at what really is beneficial not a mandate that goes across the board, top down.”
Schools superintendent Luna was not commenting on election night. Among other things, the defeat nullifies a $180 million contract with HP to provide laptops to high school students.
Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio