Sen. Steven Thayn (R-Emmett) introduced a bill Monday that would ostensibly create a secondary path for educators to qualify for the Master Teacher Premium. The bill would allow local districts to choose whether teachers qualify through an evaluation/portfolio process or by reaching certain student goals. Thayn indicated that rural districts are expressing concerns about the demands of the portfolio process.
Thayn also mentioned opening a discussion with the State Board of Education regarding the price tag of the Master Teacher Premiums. He noted that the program had been set up with the expectation of legislators was that only 25% of teachers would qualify for the Premium, at a cost of about $12 million. There is a potential that a higher number of educators will be applying for the Premium, leading to possible concerns about the cost. If 100% of Idaho teachers qualified for Master Teacher Premium, the estimated cost would be about $50 million, according to Thayn. His bill was printed, and will return to the committee for further discussion and possible action.
JFAC Scheduled to Write K-12 Budget February 27
Idaho’s Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee has set Monday, February 27 for writing the state’s K-12 budget. Preparation for the budget-setting continues in both the House and Senate Education Committees, including a presentation from Paul Headlee of the Legislative Services Office on Monday. Headlee showed legislators the education budgets proposed by Governor Otter and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra, which are fairly similar in terms of finances, but which indicate philosophical differences in a few areas. Idaho Education News has a recap of Monday’s meeting. The chairs of the Senate and the House Education Committees will be presenting their priorities on Friday, February 17, to the JFAC committee.
State Board to Hear Review of Teacher Evaluation Process Thursday
The Idaho State Board of Education will meet this week on the campus of Boise State University. On Thursday the board will hear a report and recommendations resulting from a review of teacher evaluations from the 2015-16 school year. The meeting will be held in the Simplot Ballroom in Boise State’s Student Union Building, and is open to the public. Video streaming of the meeting is also available.
Joint Education Committees to Hear from State Board Thursday Afternoon
Following the presentation at their meeting Thursday morning, the State Board of Education will present teacher evaluation information to a joint meeting of the education committees Thursday afternoon at the Capitol. That meeting can be streamed here.