The Senate Ed Committee unanimously sent HB504, the Leadership Premium bill, to the Senate floor with a do-pass recommendation. Senator Goedde did not call any of the organizations or SPI Luna up to testify. However, as we reported in the Hotline on February 21, IEA has given cautious support to HB504 because leadership bonuses are one way educators can be acknowledged and compensated for the work they are already doing. However, IEA has had many conversations with legislators stating that we adamantly oppose the addition of any language that would create a floor as it would signal that not every teacher is worthy of earning a leadership award. We will be watching this bill closely as it moves through the Senate and will be reiterating our position. Teachers should feel confident that they will be able to earn additional compensation for taking on one or more leadership roles.
As IEA President Penni Cyr stated in the House Education committee last week, the association will also not oppose the bonuses as long as the base salary for teachers is increased by a minimum of 1%. We also believe that it is absolutely necessary to include all those who will be affected by any bonus plans, including our classified colleagues who are also leaders in their districts, in the development of any district bonus plan.