Earlier today, the IEA released the results of a survey showing that 95 percent of Idaho educators oppose the Luna plan. Bear in mind: These are the very people who will be asked to make Superintendent Luna’s ideas work in Idaho’s classrooms.
Over the past month, we’ve seen a strong majority of Idaho parents and students join educators in overwhelming opposition to the plan. Despite all this, the Idaho Senate plans to vote tomorrow – Thursday, February 24 – on two of the Luna bills: S1108, which will gut teacher contract rights, and S1110, the pay-for-performance plan.
The Senate convenes Thursday at 10 a.m. Mountain. Tonight and Thursday morning are our last chances to ask senators to vote NO on the Luna plan. S 1108 is bad because it takes away teachers’ voices and ends 40 years of collaboration between Idaho educators and their school districts. S 1110 is the only part of the Luna plan in which educators had a say, but the IEA does not support pay-for-performance as part of the Luna plan.
Call 332-1000 in the Treasure Valley or (800) 626-0471 statewide to make your voice count, or to reiterate your opposition if you’ve called before. You can call after hours; leave a message for your Senator to vote NO on S 1108 and S 1110.
The Senate will convene at 10 a.m. Mountain on Thursday, with its proceedings aired via Idaho Legislature Live. Watch the Hotline and our Twitter feed for developments. If you live in the Boise area, consider coming to the Senate to watch from the public gallery. Wear blue ribbons or pro-educator buttons.
In other news today:
Senate Bill 1113, the bill to boost class sizes and trade teachers for technology, is headed back to the Senate Education Committee. “We still have a little bit of work to do on this,” Senate Education Chairman John Goedde (R-Coeur d'Alene) said before the unanimous vote. “We tried and it didn't quite get there. We're going to try again.” We’ve heard this before; when the bill was sent back for more work the week before last, few substantive changes were made.
This afternoon, IEA Executive Director Robin Nettinga testified on behalf of a bipartisan anti-bullying bill sponsored by Sens. Shawn Keough (R-Sandpoint), John Goedde (R-Coeur d’Alene), and Nicole LeFavour (D-Boise). Betsy Z. Russell reported at Eye on Boise:
After an intense, two-hour hearing, the Senate Education Committee has voted 5-3 to send SB 1105, a measure to strengthen Idaho's anti-bullying laws, to the Senate's amending order. (The bill) includes provisions calling for more education, training and attention to bullying issues, plus a provision making a third offense a misdemeanor rather than an infraction. Senators on the committee heard disturbing stories about children beaten up, harassed, threatened and repeatedly intimidated in Idaho schools; but some objected to the way the bill was worded and how it would go about trying to strengthen the law. In the end, the sponsors said they'd be willing to amend the bill to remove the criminal-penalty section, to, as LeFavour said, “make sure that we truly do, this year, improve our bullying statutes.”'