John McGee

The battle over the future of public education and ballot box rejection of the 2011 education laws has been chosen as the top story in Idaho for 2012 by The Associated Press.

It's the second straight year public debate over the future of schools has dominated state headlines.

The highlight of 2012 came in November when voters rejected laws limiting collective bargaining, a teacher merit pay plan and giving high school students laptop computers.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Former Idaho state senator John McGee will spend at least the next 44 days in jail. John McGee entered a guilty plea, as expected, to misdemeanor disturbing the peace of an individual. What was not expected was the sentence. McGee’s attorney and the prosecutor had agreed to recommend five days in jail. But 4th District Judge James Cawthon handed down 44 days followed by 44 more days that could be served in jail or supervised community service.

Former Idaho state senator John McGee will spend the next 44 days in jail. McGee was sentenced Tuesday for misdemeanor disturbing the peace. That charge stems from sexual harassment allegations made by a senate staffer in February.