The 2018 Legislative Session has adjourned Sine Die, with lawmakers opting not to override two vetoes from Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter on bills related to education. Otter vetoed HB 501, which would have removed the statewide reading test from the metrics used in a teacher’s evaluation. The IEA did not support or oppose this legislation because of continuing uncertainty regarding the future of the test. In his veto, the governor referred back to the “accountability measures” that had been tied to passage of the Career Ladder salary allocation plan, now in year four of a scheduled five-year increase in allocations to districts for teacher compensation.
The governor also vetoed HB 566, which would have eliminated the education and experience qualifications currently needed for charter school administrators. The IEA testified against this legislation, arguing that all public schools, including charters, should have well-trained administrators with experience in the education field. Read more about the veto of HB 566 in this story from Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News.
Defeat of Private School Voucher Bill, Adoption of Science Standards Highlight Session
Public schools around the state are the beneficiaries of a collaborative effort to stop a dangerous private school voucher bill, HB 590. While similar legislation could very well be brought forward again in the future, defeating this bill was an important line in the sand for public education.
After three years of fits and starts, discussion and debate, the hard work of a select committee of science educators, including IEA members, paid off when new science standards were adopted. The Senate Education Committee essentially overruled the House Education Committee and voted in favor of the standards, including references to climate change.
Legislative Recap Podcast Coming Next Week
Look for a full recap of the legislative session relative to education issues next week, as the IEA’s legislative team sits down to share their thoughts on the session. Stay tuned to the Hotline or check the IEA website for information about how to access this important perspective on the 2018 session.