Though senators were expected to take action on SB 1248 on Friday, no debate nor vote was taken before the Senate adjourned for the weekend. But, it is likely the fate of the bill will be decided on Monday morning.
The IEA joined school boards and administrators this week in lobbying senators to defeat the bill. The good news is that we still have the weekend to continue those discussions. The not-so-good news is that lawmakers are not hearing from teachers about the dangers of this bill. We need your help to educate lawmakers about the problems with this measure.
SB 1248 will not require charter schools to use the standard teacher contract approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Instead, the bill will allow charter schools to use a contract of their own creation. This will result in the establishment of two classes of public school teachers in Idaho: those with rights—guaranteed through Idaho teacher contract law, school board policies, and master agreements—and those without rights.
Please contact members of the Idaho Senate and encourage them to vote NO on SB 1248, which has the potential to:
- Restrict the flow of teachers between charter schools and traditional schools by limiting or restricting the rights of charter school teachers.
- Allow for the creation of employment relationships that will vary from school to school, building to building, and teacher to teacher.
- Create inequities within a particular charter school where there are “favored” and “un-favored” teachers, with those who are favored receiving benefits that other teachers do not.
- Create two classes of public school teachers: those who teach in traditional schools with employment rights guaranteed by law, and those who teach in charter schools who have no guaranteed employment rights.
Idaho charter school law clearly states that charter school teachers are “public school teachers.” By definition, charter school teachers should have the same rights and same status as their colleagues who teach in traditional public schools. Please contact senators and ask them to vote NO on SB 1248.
DeMordaunt Will Not Seek Re-election
In a surprising development, House Education Committee Chairman Reed DeMordaunt (R-Eagle) announced Friday that he will not seek re-election following his current term, which is his third in office. He said in a statement that he will return to his private sector work in the technology industry. You can read the full statement in Betsy Russell’s blog in the Spokesman Review.
Districts to Receive 3% for ESP & Admin Salaries
The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) is still in the process of setting the K-12 public education budget, including funding for the second year of the Career Ladder and operational funding for districts. The committee did agree that when the public schools budget is set, districts will receive a 3% increase in funding for classified staff and administrators in their upcoming budgets.
JFAC is expected to tackle the public schools budget on February 29th. The budget will include the second year of funding for the Career Ladder teacher salary allocation. Though fully-funding the Career Ladder was envisioned as a five-year plan, lawmakers are required to determine the funding levels on a year-by-year basis. Individual teacher contracts continue to be determined through collective bargaining at the local district level.
Job Description Video Highlights Teacher’s Multiple Roles
It can sometimes get lost that teaching is more difficult today than it has ever been. In addition to teaching academics during a time of diminished resources and autonomy along with increased enrollments, today’s teachers also fill the roles of counselor, nurse, protector, motivator and many more. Hear some of Idaho’s top teachers share their stories on multi-tasking in this video from Idaho Public School Teachers.