Education Forum 

Lawmakers from the education and appropriations committees held simultaneous hearings to discuss six reform bills throughout the day Monday.

The proposals included the governor’s plan to consolidate the number of school districts from 290 down to 26.

That plan would also eliminate funding for about 650 teaching positions.

There were hundreds of supporters and opponents, including educators, administrators, parents and concerned citizens at Monday’s hearings.

Representative Jackie Norton says the education committee might use elements of the various bills, along with what lawmakers heard from the public on Monday, to craft a new proposal.

Many of the speakers agree that change is needed, but the loss of local control seems to be a concern.

Lawmakers have until mid-march to decide on a plan.