Why Jeb Bush Is Involved With Idaho's Education Laws

Aug 29, 2012

Idaho’s Students Come First education laws got a moment in the spotlight Wednesday at the Republican National Convention. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush spoke about Idaho’s 2011 education overhaul to more than 50 people.

Bush then led a panel discussion on education reform which featured Idaho Governor Butch Otter, School Superintendent Tom Luna, and other Republican education policy luminaries.

Voters will decide in November whether to repeal the Students Come First laws. Bush’s RNC event raised more than 200 thousand dollars. Part of that will go to the effort to keep the laws in place.

Ken Burgess runs that campaign, known as Yes For Idaho Education. He says he’s working to bring Bush to Idaho to help with the effort. Burgess says Bush has given a verbal commitment but a schedule hasn't been set.  

Jeb Bush has focused on education issues since his last term as Florida governor in 2007. In 2011 he came to Idaho to speak to the Technology Taskforce which worked on how to implement the technology part of the Students Come First Laws.  All high school students get laptops under the laws and are required to take online classes to graduate. The laws also include a pay for performance plan and limits on teachers' bargaining rights.

The group Vote No On Props 1, 2, and 3 leads the repeal effort.