Teachers, student teachers, administrators, parents, and students told House Education Committee members on Tuesday that HB 222 was not good enough. A lunch meeting between IEA members and House Speaker Scott Bedke (R-Oakley) and Education Committee Chairman Reed DeMordaunt (R-Eagle), further highlighted teacher concerns about the legislation.
The following day, Chairman DeMordaunt’s proclamation that the bill needed more work confirmed that teacher voices were heard and would likely be heeded.
The remainder of this week has been a flurry of discussions among legislators and members of the IEA lobby team all in an attempt to ensure many of the concerns raised at the hearing would be addressed in a new draft of the legislation.
While a new draft has not yet been committed to paper, we are hopeful that when legislation is introduced, it will address the concerns teachers raised about being involved in the development of important decisions at the local level, ensuring evaluations are conducted by well-trained administrators, and safeguarding that the funding will follow over the next five years.
We expect to see a new draft presented early next week.
IEN Vendors Seek Millions in Back Payments
Spokesman Review reporter Betsy Russell reported on Friday that Education Networks of America (ENA) and CenturyLink have filed tort claims—the precursor to a lawsuit—against the state of Idaho seeking back payment for the services they provided through last month for the now defunct-Idaho Education Network (IEN).
Late last year, the courts ruled that the contract between ENA and the state was illegal. Because Idaho law prohibits the state from providing funding on an illegal contract, neither ENA nor CenturyLink have received payments for six months.
ENA is seeking $6 million plus interest and attorney’s fees. The tort claim filed by CenturyLink does not name a specific figure.