Bill to Allow Charters to Hire Uncertified Teachers Likely to Be Heard
Legislation that would allow high performing charter schools to bypass teacher certification rules is likely to resurface this week. This bill was introduced Friday in the House Ways and Means Committee and is expected to get a full hearing this week.
H0258 would undercut the teaching profession and could be a precursor to dismantling teacher certification requirements. The IEA strongly opposes this legislation and encourages you to contact members of the House Education Committee right away to voice your opinion. Read more about this alarming bill and why the IEA opposes it in Friday’s Hotline.
Voucher Bill Being Modified, but Still in Play
A bill that was pulled from the House Revenue and Taxation Committee last week is being re-written, and could return in its new form this week. The original bill, sponsored by Rep. John Vander Woude (R-Nampa), is being called a “tuition tax credit”, but is really just another attempt to impose school vouchers on an unsuspecting populace. Whatever terminology is used, the bottom line is that H0234 would divert taxpayer dollars to private and parochial schools, undermining public schools in the process. Please contact members of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee and tell them why you oppose tuition tax credits/school vouchers. Read more about the IEA’s stance on this legislation in last Thursday’s Hotline. Just for good measure, here is yet another story, this one from the New York Times, on voucher programs that have failed to provide the positive outcomes that proponents claim.
Bill to Encourage Gun Safety Classes in Schools Back in House Ed Tuesday
Legislation sponsored by Rep. Ron Nate (R-Rexburg) that would encourage school districts to develop and schedule gun safety classes on school grounds will be heard in the House Education Committee Tuesday morning. As we shared in a previous Hotline, the IEA opposes this unnecessary and confusing legislation.
While supportive of gun safety initiatives in general, the Idaho Education Association has significant concerns with H0240 . “This bill would create a great deal of confusion for classroom teachers, school officials, students and parents,” said IEA President Penni Cyr. “It is not the role or responsibility of public schools to get involved in firearms instruction, and the security, logistic and philosophical concerns that would come with this legislation far outweigh any potential benefit.”
The IEA encourages you to contact members of the House Education Committee and let them know that you oppose Rep. Nate’s bill encouraging districts to bring firearms into the public school sphere.
Troubling Bill on Bargaining Procedures Introduced
Legislation was introduced today in House Ways and Means today by Rep. Dorothy Moon (R-Stanley) that would dramatically alter how local education associations conduct bargaining authorization procedures. This bill would replace current authorization cards with a secret ballot process. The IEA is concerned that there would be no verification that the votes come from certificated employees or that each person gets only one vote. This bill will be heard in House Education sometime later this week or early next week. The IEA encourages you to contact members of the House Education Committee and let them know that you oppose Rep. Moon’s bill.
School Election Bill Killed in Committee
HB 196, which would have turned election days into school holidays, was killed by the House Education Committee Monday. Strong opposition from the Idaho School Boards Association and the Idaho Association of School Administrators led the committee to kill the legislation, with only Rep. Patrick McDonald (R-Boise) dissenting. The bill would have moved teacher professional development days to coincide with election days, but school would not have been in session on those days. Student safety was cited as the rationale for the legislation. Read more from Betsy Russell of the Spokesman Review.