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BOISE – Lawmakers asked more questions about Idaho Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna's comprehensive new school plan today.

Luna delivered his budget proposal to the Legislature's budget writing committee and the House and Senate education committees. Last week he submitted the proposal to just the committees.

One lawmaker asked Luna what the worst case scenario would be for classroom sizes in his proposal. Luna wants to increase student to teacher ratios by an average of one to two students per class. Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, is chairman of the House Education Committee. He said he knew of classes with close to 30 students.

“I guess I couldn't tell you the worse case scenario,” Luna said.

Luna has said that there is no correlation between class size and student achievement. Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, said that's not true. She said that while it may not be the greatest factor in student achievement it still plays a role.

Sen. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth, wondered if laptops given to high school students as part of Luna's proposal would be use to cheat on tests, pass around pornography or other non-school related actions.

Luna said he is well aware of the pitfalls of issuing laptops and plans on addressing them. Pearce also said schools in other states have had problems with issuing laptops to students and have discontinued the program. But Luna said Idaho schools would make sure the laptops helped students.

“We're going to make sure we're using this technology to expand learning opportunities,” Luna said.


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