Panel passes revised teacher hires bill

BOISE, Idaho (AP) House Education Chairman Reed DeMordaunt has finally won enough support in committee for his plan to redirect $12 million to school districts that could be used to hire new teachers.

The Eagle Republican on Thursday unveiled a revised version of a bill that died in committee earlier this week on a tie vote.

His original bill would have given districts the option to use money dedicated to teacher salaries to either restore days previously lost to furloughs or hire teachers.

DeMordaunt's new version was changed to allow districts to boost teacher salaries after they restore furlough days and staff positions lost since 2011. The revamped version passed on an 11-4 vote and now goes to the House.

Idaho Falls Republican Rep. Linden Bateman joined the three Democrats in voting against.