To the casual observer, it may have appeared that there was little discussion of education issues this week. In actuality, there was a flurry of activity, and we expect the pace to increase beginning early next week.
As is typical, only a few legislative committees met on Friday. Neither education committee met. However, both panels have a full agenda for Monday. House committee members will decide the fate of HB 205 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/H0205.htm). This legislation, sponsored by the State Department of Education, would “unfreeze” movement on the state’s funding grid for those educators who earned additional college credits but who were unable to move in FY11. Proposition 3 previously repealed this freeze; however, when voters repealed the law, that caused the freeze to be reinstated. This legislation reinstates the repeal of the freeze, which will allow school districts to receive full state funding for actual college credits earned by their certificated employees.
Members of the Senate Education Committee will consider HCR 3(http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/HCR003.htm), Rep. Linden Bateman’s (R-Idaho Falls) concurrent resolution that requests that the State Board of Education create rules to assure that Idaho public schools continue to teach cursive handwriting. Cursive handwriting is covered in Idaho student standards, but is not included in the Common Core Standards that will be fully implemented next year. The HCR is permissive; the SBE would not be required to promulgate a cursive writing rule, but Idaho, like the other 45 states that have adopted the Common Core, may choose to add an additional 15 percent more standards.
The timeline for the introduction of the remaining bills is not yet finalized, as we have continued to hold discussions with the committee chairs and representatives of the Idaho School Boards Association (ISBA) and the Idaho Association of School Administrators (IASA). We feel confident we’ll have more clarity around these proposals early next week.
SB 1098 Debated on Tuesday
SB 1098 (http://legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/S1098.htm), the IEA-sponsored legislation that would require all negotiations between the school district and the association be open to the public, will be brought to the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday for a full public hearing. This is one of the few pieces of legislation that is supported by all three organizations: IEA, ISBA, and IASA. This concept was initially introduced in 2011 by Supt. Luna in his package of legislation that became the Luna Laws. It is also one of pieces of that law that voters repealed in November 2012. The IEA introduced this legislation earlier this session as an alternative to HB 164 (http://legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/H0164.htm), a bill by the ISBA that also allows the school board to impose its “last best offer” by an arbitrary June 10 deadline.
We expect this SB 1098 to have no problem passing out of the committee.
Reminder: Saturday is Inconvenience Yourself Day
On a completely different note, we end this week with an announcement. Saturday, February 22nd is Inconvenience Yourself Day. This is a day to focus on inconveniencing ourselves instead of inconveniencing others. It is also a day to recognize and acknowledge those who inconvenience themselves for others. Acknowledgment can be verbal, a note, or some small token of appreciation.
In the fast-paced world in which we live, with schedules overflowing with commitments, we go about our lives without recognizing that what we do impacts other people. People have stopped holding doors open for others; “thank you” is heard less often when someone does hold open a door. The use of turn signals in traffic is the exception, rather than the rule. Fewer smiles are seen as we run our errands. People bring traffic to a stop, by crossing multiple lanes of traffic, because they aren’t in the correct lane to make their turn, risking the safety of others.
Inconvenience Yourself Day is intended to encourage people to pay attention to their own actions, understand how those actions impact others, and adjust actions which have a negative effect on others.
Remember to inconvenience yourself at least once tomorrow!