This morning we learned that the agenda for Thursday’s meeting of the Senate Education Committee included a proposed bill dealing with Career Ladders and Tiered Certification. As he opened the meeting, Chairman Dean Mortimer (R-Idaho Falls) announced that the bill had been pulled from the agenda due to some “technical difficulty” and informed his committee members that the bill would be rescheduled for a later date.
Please stay tuned for more information on this proposal and what IEA members can do to ensure that they are a part of the discussion.
Senate Education Committee Continues Printing Bills
Representative Ronald Nate (R-Rexburg) introduced a measure that would repeal use of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test in Idaho. He told committee members he had introduced this legislation in the House of Representatives but that HB 65 would not get a hearing in the House. The Senate panel agreed to print his legislation, but at least one lawmaker noted that if the bill was not likely to pass the House, it was unwise for the Senate to put much effort behind this issue. Unless something changes, this bill will probably not get much traction in the Senate.
The IEA has been working closely with the Idaho School Boards Association for the past nine months, and on Thursday that hard work paid off when the Senate Ed panel unanimously approved to print a piece of compromise legislation. This legislation addresses two of the pieces of teacher contract law that have had sunset dates tied to them for the past two years.
The first piece of law, in part, allows a school district to increase or decrease an individual teacher’s salary or contract days under the condition that the school board first declares a Reduction in Force (RIF).
The second piece of legislation leaves the determination of what constitutes a RIF to the “sole discretion of the board of trustees” of a local school district.
Under the compromise, the IEA agreed to allow the removal of the sunset provision from the first piece of contract law, allowing it to be a part of permanent statute and the ISBA agreed to a definition of when a school district can declare a RIF. We expect the Senate committee to hold a full hearing on this bill in the next few weeks.
Neither the House nor the Senate Education Committees will meet on Friday, but the Legislature will be back at work on Monday. Monday marks an important day, as it is the last day that any legislative committee may print bills. Any legislation that is not printed by the end of business on this day must be introduced in a privileged committee. The Senate State Affairs Committee and the House Education Committee are privileged committees. Consequently, lawmakers will be conducting a great deal of business on Monday, and it is likely there will be a flurry of bills printed.