The bill that would have led to significant changes in the collective bargaining authorization process was pulled from the House Education Committee agenda Monday morning. This legislation could still be modified and heard later this week. Thank you to those who made plans to attend the House Education Committee meeting to testify against this bill. Thank you also to those who contacted legislators to tell them this bill is unnecessary and to remind them that no education groups have asked for, or support the legislation. Please stay tuned for updates as further action may still be required.
Superintendents on Career Ladder: Top Level Teachers Didn’t See Much Increase
The Senate Education Committee heard from three school district superintendents about implementation of and reaction to the Career Ladder salary allocation plan. All three indicated that the influx of money has been very helpful, but that while it helped early-mid career teachers, it did not increase pay substantially for experienced teachers.
“We need to take a look at supporting our experienced teachers,” Superintendent Rob Sauer of the Homedale School District told the committee. His sentiments were echoed by superintendents Luke Schroeder (Kimberly) and Andy Grover (Melba). All three represent small, rural districts that struggle to recruit and retain teachers and rely heavily on state funding for teacher compensation.
While all three superintendents indicated that the majority of teachers received pay raises of 2%-7%, veteran teachers typically received less than 2%. Some district use (or plan to use) Leadership Premiums and/or Master Teacher Premiums to help make up some of the difference as they try to retain these valuable educators. “We have to give kudos to our teachers,” said Schroeder. “It has been tough being an educator the last 10-15 years and they have been troopers through it all. The Career Ladder has enabled us to gain some credibility with teachers.”
Loan Forgiveness for Rural Teachers the Target of H0271
Legislation has been introduced that would help address Idaho’s teacher shortage by forgiving some student loan debt for teachers in rural districts. H0271 is sponsored by Rep. Sally Toone (D-Gooding) and Rep. Paulette Jordan (D-Plummer). Jordan opted to send her children to school across the border in Washington after being told her rural Idaho district did not have the resources to teach them.
The bill asks for $3 million annually to forgive portions of student loan debt for teachers who graduate from an Idaho college or university and take employment in a rural district. The next stop for this bill is a full hearing from the House Education Committee, although no date has yet been set.