SB 1342a, the bill sponsored by Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll (R-Cottonwood), clarifies that using the Bible as a reference material in public schools is permitted. The Senate voted 31-3 in favor of the bill, which was amended from an earlier version. Nuxoll stressed that no teachers will be required to use the Bible and that the intent of the bill allows for other religious works to be discussed, although that is not specified in the language of SB 1342a. The IEA and other education stakeholder groups did not oppose the bill, but had questions about its necessity.
Charter Teacher Contract Bill Pushed Back Again
SB 1248, which would allow charter schools to issue contracts other than those approved by the State Superintendent, was held for one legislative day when it would have otherwise been taken up by the House on Monday. It is expected that the House will consider the bill during Tuesday’s floor session. As outlined in previous editions of the Hotline, the IEA and other education stakeholder groups are staunchly opposed to this legislation and we encourage you to contact your representative to urge a NO vote.
JFAC’s Higher Ed Budget Does Not Include Tuition Lock
Governor Otter’s budget request for higher education was for an 8.8% increase, including $10 million for a tuition lock at Idaho’s colleges and universities. The legislature never really warmed to the tuition lock idea, and today JFAC approved an 8% increase sans that particular funding recommendation. JFAC members expressed concern about the rising cost of higher education in the state, but delayed any action on the issue for this year. You can read more about today’s JFAC action from Idaho Education News.