Teacher Attacks: Round Two

Members of the House Education Committee heard and printed three more bills this morning dealing with issues outlined in the recently voter-repealed Proposition 1. Once again this morning, the Idaho School Boards Association Executive Director Karen Echeverria presented the bills, but committee members were told that the measures are also supported by the Idaho Association of School Administrators.

House Bill 67 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/H0067.htm), printed on a party line vote, is pulled directly from Proposition 1. This measure requires all teacher contract negotiations be conducted in public. It also allows school districts to unilaterally impose contract terms if a negotiated agreement is not reached by the arbitrary June 10 deadline.

House Bill 68 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/H0068.htm) outlines the criteria for the return of teacher contracts each year, including allowing them to be sent by email and adding a maximum 21 day limit for returning the contract.

House Bill 69 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/H0069.htm) would codify that districts implementing reduction in force would allow that seniority be taken into account only after all other factors, including individual performance, certifications and endorsements, student needs, school needs, subject matter, and shifting student populations are first considered.

Process Matters!

When voters rejected the three propositions in November, they did so for a variety of reasons. Whether voters supported parts of the individual propositions or not, it is clear that voters opposed the process used in the development and passage of these laws.

Now that the education committees have voted to print the legislation, representatives of the IEA have been invited to meet with House Education Committee chair Rep. Reed DeMordaunt (R-Eagle), Senate Education Committee chair John Goedde (R-CDA), representatives from IASA, ISBA, and PTA to review the details outlined in each of the seven pieces of legislation. We will be meeting with them on Wednesday afternoon.

Just as we have been doing since the beginning of the legislative session, IEA representatives will engage in conversations about all of these proposals. However, we do so with the knowledge that legislators are once again heading down the same path that forced voters to demand a voice through the referendum process.

Contrary to what the ISBA or some legislators may believe, process does matter.

Contact members of the House and Senate Education Committees (http://legislature.idaho.gov/about/contactbycommittee.cfm). Remind them that process matters. Urge them to go back to the drawing board and do it right this time.

Contact your local school board members, your superintendent and your building principal. Ask them if they support the decision of the leaders of their state organizations ignoring parents, teachers, and other voters who made it clear in November they did not appreciate being left out of the process.

Did You Know…

Statewide, Proposition 1 (http://www.sos.idaho.gov/elect/RESULTS/2012/General/cnty_Amend_Init.htm) was voted down in 36 of Idaho’s 44 counties. Only eight counties passed the Proposition: Adams (by 11 votes), Boise (by 5 votes), Cassia (by 88 votes), Fremont (141 votes), Jefferson (1012 votes), Lemhi (36 votes), Madison (421 votes) and Owyhee (256 votes).