The full House is expected to take action on SB 1248 as early as Wednesday. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Bob Nonini (R-Post Falls), would allow charter schools to issue contracts of their choice other than the standard teacher contract approved by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The IEA is strongly opposed to SB 1248 for a number of reasons. If this bill is enacted no longer would public charter school teachers be assured of the same rights as public school teachers employed in traditional public schools. No longer would there be a clear expectation of continuing fair employment practices or the ability to achieve continuing contract status for charter school teachers.
SB 1248 has the potential to destabilize employment relationships between teachers and their charter school employer. A school could end up negotiating each teacher contract separately. One teacher in the charter school could have a multi-year contract and another teacher, employed for an equal number of years could be working under an at-will relationship. Some teachers would have rights under Board policy and some may not.
The IEA will be sending a message to all 70 House members urging them to oppose SB 1248. However, your representatives need to hear from you. Please contact your representatives and urge them to vote NO on SB 1248.
Supreme Court Upholds IEN Ruling
The Associated Press is reporting that the Idaho Supreme Court has upheld a previous court ruling voiding the statewide public school broadband contract. Today’s decision opens up the possibility that Idaho will seek repayment from the broadband companies for the money already paid out under the $60 million contract with the now-defunct Idaho Education Network.
In 2008, the legislature passed a bill creating the IEN, but the statewide broadband system has been under attack almost from the beginning. Shortly after its creation, Syringa Networks filed suit claiming the state had illegally let a contract to a competing vendor. Last year, lawmakers gave authority to Supt. Ybarra to assist school districts to procure their own contracts with providers. This action ended up saving more than $1 million in state funds.
You can read more about today’s ruling and the next steps under consideration.
Region 5 Leaders Respond to Albertson Foundation Ads
If the latest opinion piece is any indication, frustration over the latest “Don’t Fail Idaho” advertisements is roiling all over the state. Superintendents representing Region 5 School Districts are the latest to blast the campaign in an opinion piece published by Idaho Ed News. Superintendents from the Pocatello, West Side, Soda Springs, Rockland, Marsh Valley, Grace, Bear Lake, Oneida Aberdeen, ShoBan, Snake River, and American Falls School Districts signed the opinion piece.
Several weeks ago, the trustees of the Boise School District released a statement calling the ads inaccurate. That was followed soon after by statements by Gem County School Superintendent Wayne Rush and Kuna School District Superintendent Wendy Johnson.
The authors make it clear that the misused data and rhetoric being used in the ads are just the latest attempt by the Albertson Foundation and their partners to undermine Idaho’s public education system.