The House Education Committee voted unanimously on Wednesday morning to introduce the omnibus career ladder/tiered certification bill being sponsored by the governor and the State Board of Education.
Marilyn Whitney, the governor’s education aide, introduced the legislation by telling committee members that only a few minor changes had been made to the draft since it was originally discussed on Friday.
The first change was made after several individuals raised concerns about the plan to split teachers into two separate classes and provide salary funding to districts based on two entirely different formulas. The bill now includes a provision that allows lawmakers another year to figure out a career ladder plan for pupil service staff. If, by July 1, 2016 no plan has been developed, these staff members will be folded into the career ladder plan, if it becomes law.
The second change tightened up the language around how decisions are made regarding the distribution of Master Teacher Premiums at the local level. The new language more clearly states that these premium payments shall not be subject to collective bargaining.
To quell the concerns many lawmakers and school districts had raised regarding the decision to only pay for additional education credits beginning after July 1, 2015, the new draft was amended to allow for a five-year phase in of additional allocation to districts for those teachers who already hold or earn 24 credits beyond their BA or a Masters.
The final change to the bill ensures that any instructional staff currently teaching in Idaho who have not obtained their professional endorsement by the time this law becomes effective may show they have met the professional compensation rung performance criteria for two (2) of the three (3) previous years or in the third year.
Public Hearing for Career Ladder Set for Tuesday, March 10!
Chairman Reed DeMordaunt (R-Eagle) has set the date for the public to weigh in on the career ladder/tiered certification bill.
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The Committee will meet beginning at 8 AM next Tuesday, March 10. We are encouraging all IEA members with concerns about this bill who can attend to make plans to do so.[/alert]
If you are unable to attend, please make sure to email the members of the House Education Committee with your concerns and urge them to hold the bill in committee. We can do better for our current and future teachers!
Leadership and Master Teacher Premiums Detailed
Over the past few days, we have provided a more thorough explanation of the various components of the career ladder/tiered certification bill. In Monday’s hotline, we outlined teacher certification, and in the Tuesday edition, we provided a detailed description of the two levels of the career ladder salary allocation. Today’s edition focuses on the two ways teachers can earn bonuses: Leadership and Master Teacher Premiums.
This portion of the plan is very similar to what is currently in place in Idaho law with one major change. In order to qualify for a Leadership Premium, an individual teacher must first receive an overall “proficient” rating in the previous year. The only exemption would be for teachers who are receiving Leadership Premiums for Hard-to-Fill positions; no proficient rating would be required.
Master Teacher Premiums:
Beginning in 2019, additional bonus money would be available for those instructional teachers who, according to Ms. Whitney, are truly masters at their craft. This piece of the plan is designed to recognize and reward individuals like them with a $4,000 bonus once they have qualified. To qualify, a teacher must:
- Have continuously taught for at least eight (8) years;
- Demonstrate mastery in each of the following areas for not less than three (3) of the previous five (5) years:
- Student achievement data,
- Demonstrate mastery of instructional techniques of effective teaching, and
- Successful completion of an annual individualized professional learning plan.
Local school districts would need to either develop qualifications for Master Teacher Premiums and have their plans approved by the SBE or the district would be required to adopt qualifications that will be developed by the SBE.
Pupil service staff would not be eligible to receive Master Teacher Premiums.
Like Leadership Premiums, Master Teacher Premiums are not subject to collective bargaining.
IEA President Penni Cyr has been talking to the press about the career ladder plan. You can listen to her radio interviews and get links to other news stories and information on this topic on the newly created Career Ladder Teacher Pay System: What You Need to Know page on the IEA website.