With virtually no discussion or debate, members of the House Education Committee approved a bill that would reinstate the two years of movement on the salary grid. Assuming this bill makes it completely through the process and is signed by the governor, HB 205 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/H0205.htm) would assure school districts would receive the necessary $4 million to fully fund education movement on the salary grid for those teachers who have earned college credits over the past few years but who’ve been either unable to move on their local salary schedule or who’ve gone unpaid for that additional education, due to legislative decisions to freeze these payments to school districts.
House to Review Two Rules
Late this afternoon, the House Education Committee agenda was amended to include a report from the subcommittees that were appointed to review education rules earlier this session. At least two of the rules, both of which are important to IEA members, will get extra scrutiny by the full committee tomorrow.
The first rule, No.08-0202-1204 (http://adminrules.idaho.gov/legislative_books/2013/pending/13H&S_SUPPLEMENT_EDUCATION.pdf) addresses “Teacher Leader” and recertification requirements. Prior to the legislative session, the IEA submitted concerns about the specific wording and practical application of this rule. Earlier this session, the IEA and the SDE reached agreement regarding this rule; the SDE told legislative committee members that the rule would be modified slightly to address IEA’s concerns.
The second rule, No. 08-0203-1203 (http://adminrules.idaho.gov/legislative_books/2013/pending/13H&S_EDUCATION.pdf) eliminates a SBE rule requiring the completion of online courses prior to graduation. Following the November election, the State Board of Education voted to repeal its own rule requiring every Idaho high school student to complete two online courses. Though nothing required the SBE to make this decision, Board members agreed that it was important to heed the decision of voters who overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 3 at the November polls. The legislature can only accept or reject a rule; they cannot modify it. The agenda does not detail the purpose for revisiting this particular rule. However, if both the House and Senate Education Committees were to vote to reject this rule, the SBE’s decision to eliminate the online graduation requirement would be nullified, and once again Idaho high school graduates would still be required to complete two online courses to graduate.
The IEA will be paying very close attention to both of these rules during tomorrow’s meeting and we’ll report on the committee’s discussion.
Senate Panel to Discuss Open Negotiations Bill
The IEA will ask the Senate Education Committee to approve SB 1098 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/S1098.htm), legislation that would require all negotiations between the school district and the local association be held in public. The IEA initially developed this legislation as an alternative to a bill introduced by the Idaho School Boards and Idaho School Administrator’s Associations. Since initial introduction of the legislation, all three organizations have come to agreement to support the IEA’s bill.