If there was any question at the beginning of this week about whether lawmakers would be able to break the impasse and finish their work by week’s end, those questions were answered today.
Here’s a breakdown of today’s action:
8 AM: The House and Senate Education Committees met in dual session to hear SB 1199 the education policy bill that members of the Senate Education Committee demanded after killing the FY 14 public schools budget last week. Members of the Senate Education Committee approved the measure and sent it to the floor with a “do pass” recommendation. Only Sen. Branden Durst (D-Boise) opposed the bill.
10:45 AM: Shortly after convening, the Senate suspended rules to consider SB 1199, which easily passed. Only Sen’s. Durst, Bob Nonini (R-Post Falls) and Steve Vick (Dalton Gardens) voted no.
11:50 AM: SB 1199 was transmitted to the House; leadership recessed and the House Education Committee met and voted unanimously to send SB 1199 to the floor with a “do pass” recommendation.
1:30 PM: With legislative leaders convinced that another education funding bill would be approved, the members of the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee convened and quickly passed a new FY 14 public schools appropriation bill. The new bill, (which has yet to receive a bill number), looks identical to HB 323, the first education funding bill, except the two sections of intent language regarding Excellence Awards and Technology Pilot Programs that appeared in the previous bill were removed, since SB 1199 makes those “intended” expenditures policy—at least for one year.
2:50 PM: Shortly after reconvening for an afternoon session, and with no debate, the House of Representatives approved SB 1199 by a vote of 51-12-7.
Both the House and Senate will reconvene Thursday morning at 9 AM. Both bodies are expected to pass the public schools budget and adjourn sine die shortly thereafter.
Remembering Janet Orndorff: A True Friend of Public Education
The students, staff and patrons of the Boise School District lost a true public school hero last week, when Janet Orndorff, former Boise teacher and long-time member of the Boise School Board passed away following a lengthy battle with breast cancer.
In her obituary posted in Tuesday’s Idaho Statesman, Janet was remembered for her efforts to lobby and testify on behalf of public education and for her contributions to the campaign to defeat Propositions 1, 2, and 3. “She provided research and data analysis to help defeat the Students Come First laws, a name Janet thought to be a misnomer since one particularly troubling aspect of the laws removed teachers from the classroom and increased classroom sizes.”
A service for Janet Orndorff will be held Thursday afternoon in Boise. Next Friday, Janet and the other members of the Boise School Board will be lauded as the IEA’s 2013 Friend of Education at our annual Delegate Assembly in Boise.
We offer our condolences to Janet’s family and friends and to the entire Boise School District. She will be missed.