There are several things one can count on each legislative session. Legislators won’t adjourn sine die until all budgets are set for the coming year. The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) is not able to set budgets until the germane committees make decisions on any policy changes requiring financial support and those policies are subsequently approved by both the full House and Senate.
Monday marked the 29th day of this session. And, to the frustration of some lawmakers, no Career Ladder teacher pay plan has yet emerged. Though stakeholders have spent dozens of hours in meetings with lawmakers and others trying to hammer out a potential plan, it appears that there continue to be strongly divergent points of view on the issue.
The only documented plan at this point comes from the State Board of Education. The governor’s office has taken on the task of promoting the SBE plan. We created this simplified outline of how the SBE intends for the plan to be rolled out over the next five years.
Friday, stakeholders learned that House Education Chair Reed DeMordaunt (R-Eagle) and Senate Education Chair Dean Mortimer (R-Idaho Falls) are mulling a concept that would include the SBE plan with additional modifications, though those additional adjustments have not yet been reduced to writing.
The IEA has consistently opposed the SBE plan. We believe that any Career Ladder plan that is adopted should:
- ensure our state is able to recruit and retain great teachers.
- provide autonomy to local school districts to build their own plans, specific to the needs of their local communities.
- include the teachers who will be impacted in the development of the pay plan through use of the current bargaining process.
- use fair accountability measures. While we do not believe that teacher evaluations or student test scores are appropriate measures for determining teacher pay, if lawmakers insist on the use of these metrics to pay teachers, the IEA will only support the use of an overall rating for each individual teacher.
It is highly likely that if all parties are unable to come to agreement, some form of the SBE’s plan will be introduced. Please review the SBE Career Ladder plan. Then, please contact members of the House and Senate Education Committees to share your concerns.