The Ybarra administration successfully introduced two pieces of legislation to members of the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday. The first, SB 1018 changes the way certification fees flow to the State Department of Education and more clearly establishes how those funds can be used. Former state senator Tim Corder, special assistant to Supt. Ybarra, told committee members that the Department is not seeking to increase certification fees. However, the $75 fee has not been increased for over a decade, and it is likely a fee increase may be sought in the future.
The second piece of legislation, SB 1019 allows the SDE to increase fingerprinting and criminal background check fees to individuals seeking to work in public schools. The fee has been $40 to since 1996. During that same period of time, the FBI and Idaho State Police have increased their fees to conduct the investigations required by law. As a result, the SDE has been required to make up the difference in the cost between what an individual pays to have the background check completed and what the FBI and state police charge. This legislation would effectively increase the cost to just over $50. The previous administration had unsuccessfully attempted several times over the past few years to increase these fees.