The Senate Education Committee approved HB 296, the career ladder teacher salary funding plan on Wednesday afternoon.
Members of the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee have been waiting for action to be taken on this significant piece of legislation before setting the public school budget. With today’s decision by Senate Education Committee, we are hopeful that JFAC will meet before the end of the week to set the FY 16 public schools budget.
Wondering how the funding changes outlined in HB 296 will impact the salary allocation your district receives for your position? The IEA has created a Salary Allocation Calculator to help answer that question. Just answer two simple questions to receive an estimate of the salary funding that will flow to your district to help pay your salary over the next five years.
House Panel Introduces Two More Transportation Bills
Members of the House Ways and Means Committee introduced two bills on Wednesday morning. The first, HB 312 sponsored by Rep. Joe Palmer (R-Meridian) received unanimous support. This bill would increase vehicle registration fees and levy fees on electric and hybrid vehicles. This bill is expected to raise $20 million for road repairs.
HB 310, sponsored by Rep. Jason Monks (R-Meridian) was not as readily accepted. The bill, which was introduced on a party line vote, would potentially raise $26 million for roadwork through a series of shell games.
- $16 million would be shifted from the highway account that currently funds the Idaho State Police (ISP) to pay for roads. Instead, ISP funding would be paid for from the general fund, and
- Any year that revenue increased by 4% or more, at least 1% of any general fund monies that would have been deposited into the state’s ‘rainy day’ account would be shifted to the state highway account to pay for road repairs.
Earlier this week, the IEA joined the Idaho Association of School Administrators (IASA) and the Idaho School Boards Association (ISBA) in issuing a press release opposing any legislation that would divert money from Idaho’s general fund for the purpose of transportation funding.
The only state dollars accessible for funding public schools comes from the general fund. In his State of the State address at the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Governor Otter told lawmakers, “I will NOT entertain proposals aimed at competing for general fund dollar tax dollars with education and our other required public programs or services.”
The IEA will be vigorously opposing any legislation that would divert funds that are necessary to adequately fund our public schools.
We urge you to contact members of the House Transportation Committee and urge them to oppose any legislation such as HB 310 that would spend money from the general fund for road repairs.
House Committee Approves 6th Grade Alternative Funding Measure
IEA member Peggy Hoy was on hand Wednesday morning to support HB 300, an idea she pitched several years ago at IEA’s annual Delegate Assembly that would increase funding for middle schools that offer alternative education programs for 6th graders.
Members of the House Education Committee unanimously approved the measure, which now moves to the full House for their consideration.