Members of the House Education Committee met for three hours on Tuesday morning before they recessed to attend to business on the House floor. Because so many who had come to testify had not had the opportunity to do so, Chairman Reed DeMordaunt (R-Eagle) reconvened the committee for several more hours in the afternoon.
The committee wrapped up public testimony around 5 pm, but did not take action on the legislation at today’s hearing. Instead, they are expected to continue their work on Wednesday morning, at which time the Governor’s education aide will summarize the bill.
Throughout Tuesday’s hours-long hearing, dozens and dozens of teachers, almost all who were opposed to the plan outlined in HB 222, shared a variety of concerns, including whether the legislation will truly attract teachers to Idaho or drive them away and fears that the legislature will not fully fund the proposal over the next five years.
Reporters have been filing stories about the hearing all day. Idaho Education News published a piece by Kevin Richert exploring the political dynamics connected to this legislation. Spokesman Review reporter Betsy Russell talked with Supt. Sherri Ybarra about her opposition to the legislation and filed a report. And, Clark Corbin filed a summary of the day’s hearing, for Idaho Education News. Check out photographs of the event on the IEA Flickr page.
Thanks to the 55 IEA members who traveled from all across the state to share their concerns with lawmakers about HB 222. Their colleagues can take pride in the way these teachers and administrators represented the teaching profession.
Top House Leaders Meet with IEA Members
IEA members who attended Tuesday’s hearing were honored to have Speaker of the House of Representatives Scott Bedke (R-Oakley), House Education Chairman Reed DeMordaunt (R-Eagle), Assistant Minority Leader Mat Erpelding (D-Boise) and Marilyn Whitney, Governor Otter’s education aide join them for a nearly two-hour discussion of HB 222 over the lunch hour.
Also on hand was former Boise State professor who provided insight into how the salary allocation funding would flow for HB 222.
Members had an unprecedented opportunity to share their concerns, ask questions, and hear from these legislative leaders. While the meeting may not have provided any quick solutions to the many concerns raised by teachers; the dialogue was helpful in illustrating the importance of communication and collaboration.