Do you support strong schools? Can you make it to the Idaho Capitol this Friday morning? We’d love to see you there to speak out for Idaho’s students and schools.
Last winter, the Idaho Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee made history with a series of public hearings on education and health and welfare. JFAC is bringing back the “listening hearing” this Friday. Doors will open at 7 a.m. for people to sign in if they wish to testify, and the hearing will get under way at 8 a.m. Approximately 50 people will have a chance to speak for up to three minutes each. People will generally testify in the order they sign up, although committee chairs say they’ll reserve the right to call on people from beyond the Boise area who traveled far to attend to ensure broad geographical representation.
Education funding isn’t a red-hot topic this winter, but it is still the largest budget item that lawmakers need to consider, so they’ll be listening to what people have to say about schools. Legislators will need to decide whether to plug a nearly $20 million hole in Fiscal Year 2013 that will be created by shifting base salary funds to cover Idaho’s education reform laws. The IEA believes that the $20 million shift must be covered so class sizes don’t grow and educators can stay on the job. If Idaho has a small surplus, lawmakers will also have to decide whether to sock it away in a rainy-day fund or use it now to help school districts recover from years of cuts.
With Idaho’s economy slowly improving, it’s time to reinvest in our schools and our children’s future. Please come to the Capitol Auditorium this Friday morning and help Idaho educators make this case. Read more about making the most of your testimony.