First things first: Tomorrow (Wednesday, March 14) at 8:30 a.m., the House Education Committee plans its public hearing on H646, a bill to increase transparency for Education Management Organizations. This bill, the result of public concern over for-profit education companies, would require those organizations to file an annual report to show how they spend Idaho tax dollars. It is sponsored by Rep. Brian Cronin (D-Boise). The public is welcome to testify; the meeting will take place in Room EW41 of the Idaho Capitol.
Also tomorrow, IEA will offer testimony opposing legislation that would tie the hands of the Land Board in making investment decisions. H495 would significantly shorten the timelines for the Land Board to make decisions regarding the acquisition and disposal of land in the best interest of the beneficiaries. It would also limit the Land Board’s ability to diversify investments and maximize returns through the acquisition of business entities.
Today, the Idaho Education Association scored a significant victory for educators with the unanimous House passage of S1308, which extends from one year to three years the amount of time an educator who has been laid off as a result of reduction in force (RIF) has to find a new job and transfer existing sick leave benefits. Thanks to Sen. Melinda Smyser (R-Parma) for sponsoring that bill, which now goes to Gov. Butch Otter for his signature.
The Senate Education Committee was prepared to consider H564, the bill from Rep. JoAn Wood (R-Rigby) to makes changes to a law regarding employee records and Professional Standards Commission investigations. However, Rep. Wood was nowhere to be found, so the bill will be rescheduled for another day.
Rep. Reed DeMordaunt introduced a bill into the House Education Committee to help charter schools get the same levy help to raise money and repay interest for buildings as traditional school districts now have.