Idaho School Board Association bills facing print hearing Monday
Monday afternoon, members of the Senate Education Committee will decide whether to print four bills introduced on behalf of the Idaho School Boards Association. We don’t have text of these bills yet, but we do have what ISBA Executive Director Karen Echeverria summarized about them in an article she wrote that was published Wednesday in the Idaho Education News. In her article, Echeverria outlined the measures:
RS21815 One Year Contracts and Evergreen: “This bill will require that all master agreements have a beginning date of July 1 and an end date of June 30. It will prohibit the use of what is commonly known as the ‘evergreen clause’.”
RS21809 50% + 1 and Majority Ratification: “This bill would require the local education organization (LEO) to prove they represent 50% + 1 of the certified staff in their district. They would need to do this annually and would need to provide written evidence on a form approved by the school district. In addition, once an agreement is reached, both the school district and the LEO would need to provide written proof that the agreement has been ratified by their respective memberships.”
RS21812 Reduction in Salary and Administrative Leave: “This bill would indicate that if an employee has a court order that does not allow him or her to be on the school grounds and would keep them from complying with the conditions of their contract, then the school district can place them on unpaid administrative leave. The school district should not be responsible for paying the salary of any individual who cannot meet the terms of their contract and then pay for a substitute as well. That is not a good use of tax payer dollars. In addition, school districts need to have the flexibility in local governance to manage the long-term prudent fiscal affairs of their school districts. That means they need to have the ability from year to year, based on the funding at hand, to reduce or lengthen the term of a contract and for that contract to be of greater, lesser, or equal salary as that in the current contract.”
RS21793 DeNovo Hearings: “Any school district employee has the right to appeal to a district court the decision made by the board of trustees in any grievance proceeding. Currently, when that appeal occurs, a completely new trial begins with the district court. That is unlike any other proceeding for state, county, or city employees. What occurs with other entities is that the record from the local level proceeding is forwarded to the district court. The district court judge can either affirm the decision or set it aside and remand it back to the local entity upon certain grounds. This bill would simply ask that grievances in school districts be treated in the same manner as state employees rather than having a completely new trial begin.”
We will provide more information about each of these measures next week. You can tune into the live hearing on Monday at 3 pm.
Task Force on Improving Education meets for a second time
Today the State Board of Education task force that was formed in response to the failure of Props 1, 2 and 3 (formerly the Governor’s task force) met again. They spent the morning hearing a variety of presentations. Their afternoon was spent in small group discussions.
IEA members who serve on the committee were pleased to see that plans are underway for the task force to gather public comments this spring. The committee will next meet on February 8th.
New bill will restore funding left in question from repeal of Props 1, 2 and 3
The House Education Committee today voted to introduce a bill, sponsored by House Education Chair Rep. Reed DeMordaunt (R-Eagle) and Senate Education Chair John Goedde (R-CDA) that would ensure that public schools would be “held harmless” for the remainder of FY 13.
The repeal of Propositions 1, 2, and 3 complicated funding for the remainder of the current school year. According to the sponsors, the bill would ensure districts would receive $30.6 million in funding this year. While the legislation would restore funds for technology, professional development and concurrent credits, it would not restore the 1.67% cut to teacher salaries. The measure has not yet received a bill number. We’ll share the bill number with you next week when it is assigned.
Kitchen Table Economics talk Wednesday
Want to learn more about the personal property tax and who will benefit from its repeal? Ever wondered about Idaho’s low wages and what they mean for our economy? If you are in the Treasure Valley, please plan to join the Idaho Jobs Coalition for a discussion on “Kitchen Table Economics” Wednesday January 30 from 6 to 8 PM, Idaho State Capitol, Senate Auditorium Room WW02.