Yes for Idaho Education, the political action committee that aims to help Idahos new education laws withstand repeal efforts, was one of three beneficiaries of a fund-raising reception held Wednesday morning in conjunction with the Republican National Convention.
The Idaho group got checks for at least $100,000, with commitments for a similar amount, said Ken Burgess, who heads the Yes campaign.
The event was co-hosted by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, an enthusiastic supporter of Idaho Schools Superintendent Tom Lunas embattled education laws, and former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige. Luna and Idaho Gov. Butch Otter were panelists for a roundtable discussion of education reform at the fund-raising event, Burgess said.
South Dakotas education reform efforts also are being challenged on the November general election ballot, and the campaign to keep that states laws also was a beneficiary of Wednesdays event, he said. The third organization that received fund-raising help at the reception was the national nonprofit Put Our Kids First, he said.
The turnout was even better than we expected, Burgess said, noting that many receptions and other events vie for convention-goers attention and money.
The three new Idaho laws Luna dubbed Students Come First were approved by the Legislature in 2011 and reviled by the statewide teachers union. The laws dramatically reduced teachers collective bargaining power, created a pay-for-performance plan for teachers and established 21st Century Classroom measures to phase in laptop computers for all high school students and require future graduates to earn at least two course credits online.
Groups on both sides are drumming up support and money. Yes for Idaho Education advocates keeping the three laws. No on Propositions 1, 2 and 3 aims to see all three repealed. Voters will decide Nov. 6.