Rumors have been floating about the Capitol for the past week, that SB 1266 would not receive a hearing from House Education Committee. SB 1266, sponsored by the State Department of Education, would increase the minimum leadership premium from $850 to $900 for any teacher who took on a leadership role in his or her district.
Legislators first began voicing concerns about the disbursement of leadership premiums last week after the SDE unveiled a detailed report outlining how the $16.7 million was distributed this school year. According to a story reported on Idaho Ed News, the SDE report is riddled with errors.
House Education Committee members were harshly critical that some districts chose to distribute the funds to all teachers. Chairman Reed DeMordaunt (R-Meridian) indicated that he would introduce legislation to clarify the legislator’s expectation for how those funds are to be distributed, if necessary.
Earlier this month, JFAC co-chair Shawn Keogh (R-Sandpoint) told committee members that once policy bills were approved, trailer bills would be written to ensure additional funding was added to the FY 17 budget to fund those pieces of policy. Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra told House committee members that she does not intend to push for a hearing on SB 1266 as a result of the concerns that have been raised. SB 1266 would have provided an additional $1.04 million for teacher salary bonuses.
It is yet to be determined if legislation will be introduced this session or not to further direct how districts may expend leadership premiums.
Latest on STEM Action Center and Career-Technical Budgets
The STEM Action Center initiative proposed by Governor Otter is inching its way through the legislature. JFAC approved $2.3 million in funding to operate the STEM Action Center, but because the amendments to HB 379a have not yet been approved by the House, JFAC will have to consider how much, if any, of the $10.7 million requested in that legislation will be funded. Then, a “trailer bill” will need to be written to add funding to the appropriate agency budget.
Another proposal from the governor called for a sizeable increase in career-technical education. This initiative received $3.79 million in new funding in a unanimous vote from JFAC. The CTE program is currently facing a backlog in training students for industries that are looking for qualified employees in nursing, pharmacy, medical/dental support, software and web design, aerospace technology and welding, among others. Read more about the expansion of CTE education from Betsy Russell of the Spokesman Review.
Parental Rights Bill Passes House Ed
A rebooted parental rights bill from Sen. Mary Souza (R-Coeur d’Alene) sailed through the House Education Committee and will now go to the full House. SB1293a has already been approved by the Senate. This legislation clarifies some of the confusion and discrepancies that arose from the parental right bill passed a year ago. According to Souza, the bill outlines parent’s right to ask schools for a “reasonable accommodation” and should lead to a dynamic of parents and teachers working together on student outcomes.
We will provide an update of all the education-related legislation being tracked by the IEA in an upcoming Hotline message.