News About and For IEA Members.

Got Ideas? →
Submit an IEA Reporter item.

IEA Events →
View the complete calendar.

2024 Legislature a Success for IEA Members Despite Late Setbacks

April 19, 2024

The 2024 Idaho Legislature adjourned for the year on April 10, leaving IEA members with yet another session of significant wins despite the last-minute signing of two bills that are very unpopular with IEA members.

“The results of the 2024 legislative session prove, yet again, the effectiveness of Idaho Education Association members as advocates for Idaho students, public education and their educator colleagues around the state,” said IEA President Layne McInelly in a statement last week.

Nearly across the board, IEA members won their top legislative priorities.

With the engagement and support of IEA, lawmakers approved a historic investment in school facilities— and kickstarted a long-ignored discussion around the state’s role in maintaining them. This huge investment was critical to secure, but the legislation included potentially challenging stipulations related to the four-day school weeks adopted by many districts around the state. Those stipulations were addressed by a successful trailer bill.

Another key victory was the dramatic defeat of House Bill 602, a bill from anti-public education politicians aiming to cripple the IEA and blunt the effectiveness of its members as advocates for students, public schools and their educator colleagues.  This union-busting legislation was a direct retaliation against IEA for its success in combatting legislative threats from anti-public education politicians.

“Our union’s collective strength, in collaboration with key allies at the Statehouse, beat that attack back as well,” McInelly said.

IEA members’ strong relationships with key policymakers and robust engagement in the legislative process through individual actions and events like IEA’s 2024 Lobby Day helped defeat yet another slate of bad-for-public schools voucher schemes and legislation allowing guns in schools.

IEA members also revoked their endorsement of Rep. Ted Hill (R-Eagle) earlier this month, after his sponsorship of an extreme guns-in-schools bill and , as well as his support of union-busting legislation and other anti-public education measures.

IEA member influence also helped defeat several attempts to censor libraries and librarians. However, one last-ditch attempt by anti-public education politicians succeeded. Governor Brad Little signed House Bill 710, as well as the pronouns bill,  into law on April 10.

The signing of these bills prompted some IEA members who were delegates to last weekend’s 2024 Delegate Assembly to protest Little being named IEA’s Champion of Education for his considerable support of members’ policy priorities. The decision to select Little was made well in advance of last week’s bill signings.

“Governor Little’s decision to sign such destructive legislation into Idaho law was truly disheartening, and the anger many of our members feel over these new laws was conveyed to him and his staff,” said Matt Compton, IEA’s associate executive director. “However, few can argue against the governor’s commitment to investing in students, public schools and educators. Moving ahead, growing the strength and influence of this union is the best way to ensure IEA member voices are heard and heeded on the issues they care about most.”

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This