The House Education Committee voted unanimously to print a bill co-sponsored by IEA member Rep. Sally Toone, D-Gooding, that would forgive a portion of student loans for teachers in rural and economically disadvantaged schools. The bill is aimed at helping those schools retain their trained and certified teachers, which has been a difficult proposition. Many Idaho districts have been forced to resort to hiring teaching staff with alternate certifications or to leave positions unfilled.
Rep. Toone’s bill would enable qualifying teachers to write off $3,000 a year for four years in student loans. By voting to print the bill, the committee opens the door for a potential hearing later in the session, where discussion and testimony would then take place.
Science Standards Expected to Get a Vote in House Education Committee Wednesday
After two days of public testimony last week, the House Education Committee is expected to move forward with a vote on proposed science standards. The committee will meet Wednesday morning at 8:30 in EW401 of the capitol. A team of Idaho science education experts has once again revised five sections of the science standards that were excluded when the legislature passed a set of science standards as a temporary rule last year. If new standards are not adopted during this session, Idaho will revert to standards developed in 2001. Public testimony, both in person and electronic, has been overwhelmingly in support of adopting the revised standards as proposed.
Revision to PERSI Policy Passes Senate Education Committee Unanimously
Legislation proposed by IEA member Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise, would revise current Idaho Code regarding the value of sick leave for educators who move from a certified position to a classified position. Currently, the value of accumulated sick days is adjusted to a level commensurate with a classified position, even when accrued while the educator was in a certified position. The IEA testified in support of S-1263, as did Boise Education Association member John Hansen, who had approached Ward-Engelking about the sick leave situation. The bill will now go to the Senate floor, likely later this week.