As is fairly common at this time in the session, Friday was a light day for lawmakers. It is rare for committees to meet, as lawmakers try to head home for the weekend to meet with constituents. Neither the House nor the Senate Education Committee met. However, a group of stakeholders—including the IEA—spent most of the morning meeting around a conference table in an attempt to begin the process of hashing out components of a tiered certification and career ladders proposal that are agreeable to all parties.
Nearly 30 days into the session, the pressure to finalize legislative proposals and begin introducing those ideas in committee is growing. On Friday morning, members of the IEA lobby team spent more than two hours with the school boards association, the Governor’s office, legislators, members of the administrator’s association, and the special assistant to Supt. Ybarra to clarify rumors, learn more about the various proposals that are being considered, and identify areas of consensus. By the end of the meeting, one thing was clear….there is significant disagreement between the parties on some important components of the plan—specifically dealing with accountability—and we have a great deal of work to do in the days ahead.
Aside from the tiered certification rule and career ladder pay plan being advanced by the State Board of Education, Supt. Ybarra is also working on proposals, and there are a handful of lawmakers who have also expressed an interest in building proposals. No plans have been formally introduced and some of the ideas being discussed have not even been committed to writing. We continue to work closely with other education stakeholders to help craft a plan that can be supported and ensures local teachers, administrators, and school boards have maximum autonomy in the system that is implemented in their local community.
Please keep reading the IEA Hotline for further updates in the week ahead.