COEUR d'ALENE - As Idaho schools chief Tom Luna's education overhaul package begins to make its way through the Legislature, supporters and opponents are mobilizing throughout the state.
A pair of proposed bills carrying Luna's sweeping reforms for Idaho's public education system are expected to be introduced in the House Education Committee this afternoon.
Public hearings will likely begin Tuesday, and Senate committee members could vote on the legislation as early as Thursday. Then it will move to the House Education Committee for consideration.
Teachers in the Coeur d'Alene School District are holding an Education Town Hall on Saturday at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library from 1 to 3 p.m.
The meeting is open to the public, and will include information from a panel of local teachers who have read Luna's Students Come First plan.
The meeting is being promoted by the Idaho Education Association, the state teachers union, as are similar meetings being held by teachers in districts throughout Idaho this week.
Kristi Milan, the president of the Coeur d'Alene Education Association, the local arm of the teachers union, was unavailable for comment about the town hall session.
Neither Luna, nor Senate Education Committee chair Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, were invited to attend the teachers' meeting.
Luna's plan calls for Idaho to arm high school students with laptops while requiring some online learning. The state would also tie some teacher pay to merit and awards bonuses to those who take on hard-to-fill positions and leadership roles, while requiring educators to forgo coveted job security.
Meanwhile, the Idaho Business Coalition for Education Excellence (IBCEE) came out in favor of the plan on Wednesday.
"We have long encouraged meaningful reform of Idaho's education system," said Judy Meyer, Parkwood Business Property partner, and IBCEE vice chair.
In a prepared statement, Meyer said the coalition believes the package is "a bold and innovative step ... At the same time, we recognize that some specifics of the plan may need to be adjusted and that other good ideas may emerge that would improve it."
Meyer said the coalition strongly supports "systemic change in Idaho education now," and encourages everyone involved in the debate about the reforms "to keep the end in sight - the most effective, efficient education system for Idaho, given the resources available."
IBCEE is a nonprofit business coalition made up of more than 80 Idaho CEOs, presidents and managing partners.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.