Professional educators, parents and many others interested in protecting public schools from the privatization and voucher push that would come with a confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary are having their voices heard. U.S. Senators are feeling the pressure as more than a million calls, e-mails and letters have poured in telling them to vote NO on DeVos as Education Secretary. Her confirmation hearing is next week, so please help us protect public schools in Idaho and around the country by contacting Senators. You can use this easy form to send written comments, or call 885-882-6229.
The ethics inquiry is just the latest red flag on DeVos. She has no experience in public education, has led “reform” efforts that have failed miserably in her home state of Michigan, and has donated millions of dollars to elected officials—many of whom sit on the committee charged with deciding on her confirmation. Read what Michigan Senator Gary Peters had to say about the havoc created in that state by the efforts of DeVos and her privatization cronies.
Ybarra to Present Budget at JFAC on Thursday
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra will appear in front of the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee at 8:00 Thursday morning. She will formally present her budget proposal for K-12 public education, as well as a budget proposal for operating the State Department of Education. Ybarra did a preliminary release of her budget proposal in September, and while she may unveil slight modifications Thursday, the IEA knows what her request will look like. Her initial request was for a 6.7% overall increase in K-12 funding, which differs slightly from the proposal from Governor Otter. This Idaho Education News story breaks down the differences between the two proposals. You can watch streaming coverage of Ybarra’s presentation to JFAC here.
Education Committees Host 2017 Idaho Teacher of the Year
Mary Lynn Spiker, a kindergarten teacher from the Pocatello/Chubbuck school district, is the 2017 Idaho Teacher of the year. She was in Boise the last couple of days, and was given an opportunity to address (and be recognized by) the House and Senate Education Committees. She will also travel to Washington, DC this spring to meet with the U.S. President and other state Teachers of the Year. Click here to read more about how/why Spiker was honored as Idaho’s Teacher of the Year.