It’s YOUR turn to be heard!
Earlier today, House Education Chairman Reed DeMordaunt (R-Eagle) announced that the House and Senate education committees joint “listening session” held last on Friday was so successful that they’re going to hold a second one next Monday February 11th , from 4-6 p.m. to allow members of the public who were unable to attend last Friday morning’s session.
The IEA had requested the education committee chairs hold an evening hearing and allow educators, who were at their worksites and unable to attend last week’s hearing, to voice their concerns and share their perspectives. We are pleased that they were receptive to this request and that committee members have agreed to set aside several hours of time to hear from concerned citizens.
If you live in or are within driving distance to the Treasure Valley this is your chance to make your voices heard.
Mark your calendars, load your car with a couple of colleagues and head on to the Capitol next Monday afternoon.
This is your chance to provide lawmakers with a brief statement (don’t expect to have more than 3 minutes to share your comments) about any education topic(s) that concern you. Not sure what you could talk about? Here are a few ideas:
- The seven legislative bills that introduce many of the concepts rejected by voters in November
- Common Core Standards and your preparedness to teach those new standards
- Education funding
- Class size
- Student safety
Do not miss this opportunity to talk with lawmakers. If you live outside driving distance to the statehouse, you can still make sure your concerns are addressed. Send written comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com.
More conversations take place regarding ‘Proposition 1’ bills
Members of the IEA lobby team met in a closed-door session today with Rep. DeMordaunt, Sen. Goedde, and representatives from IASA, ISBA, and the SDE. During a three-hour marathon session, every bill was reviewed and, where the team could, they offered potential compromise language. In some instances, philosophies and concepts were discussed, without coming to agreement on specific language.
The group is expected to meet again later this week to continue our discussions.
Have you read the bills?
House Bill 67 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/H0067.htm pulled directly from Prop 1, it requires public bargaining and an arbitrary deadline for the board to impose a settlement.
House Bill 68 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/H0068.htm) allows school district to send contracts by email.
House Bill 69 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/H0069.htm) codifies the factors districts must consider when implementing reduction in force.
Senate 1037 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/S1037.htm) also lifted from Prop 1, it limits master contracts to one year and eliminates fact finding.
Senate 1038 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/S1038.htm) limits what evidence that can be considered by district courts in district personnel issues.
Senate 1039 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/S1039.htm) regurgitated from Prop 1, it requires the local association to prove, annually, that they represent 50 percent plus one of the certified employees in the district before they are allowed to negotiate for them and requires both parties to prove their members have ratified an agreement.
Senate 1040 (http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2013/S1040.htm) allows the trustees to reduce teacher salaries and/or contract length from one year to the next and allows districts to put an employee on unpaid leave, if a court order prevents the employee from doing his or her job while awaiting trial or a decision by a court of law.
In conversations with school boards association and school administrators lobbyists, it has been repeatedly stated that members of their organizations need these “tools” to manage their districts. Do your local school board members support these measures? Please contact your local school board members and find out if they believe abdicating local control to the state is really how they want to operate your district. Urge them to listen to the voters who overwhelmingly rejected many of these ideas and the process that was used to develop the original laws and these bills, as well.
Urge your local school board members to contact their state ISBA leaders.
Call to Action
Have you heard from your local or region leaders? If not, you can expect one of your colleagues to call you in the next few days to ask for your help. It’s time to remind Idaho voters that they are, once again, being ignored. When you get the call, please volunteer to help.