Will Idaho Become Next State to Adopt Tuition Tax Credits?
According to the National Council of State Legislatures, 14 tuition tax credit programs exist in 11 states. Members of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee voted overwhelmingly to send HB 286 to the floor with a “do pass” recommendation. This action sets up the real possibility that Idaho could become the 12th state to adopt this type of program.
Sponsored by Rep. John VanderWoude (R-Nampa) and Sen. Bob Nonini (R-Post Falls), HB 286 will allow individuals and corporations receive up to $10 million a year in tax credits to donate money for scholarships for students to attend private schools.
The IEA was joined by a representative of the Idaho School Boards Association and the Idaho Association of School Administrators in opposing the measure. Not only did our groups argue that the legislation will take more state money away from public schools, but as IEA General Counsel Paul Stark told the committee, HB 286 very likely violates the Idaho Constitution, which emphatically prohibits any public funding to sectarian or religious schools.
The bill now moves to the full House.
Just One More Hurdle for Open Negotiations Bill
The House of Representatives met this morning and continued to plow through a long list of bills before adjourning for the weekend.
One of the bills that got their unanimous nod was the IEA-sponsored SB 1098 that requires all negotiations between local school districts and teachers’ associations to take place in open meetings.
IEA introduced the bill earlier this session as an alternative to a piece of ISBA legislation that also included an additional issue that was objectionable to the IEA. Following several stakeholder meetings, ISBA and IASA agreed to support the IEA bill.
SB 1098 now makes its way to the governor’s desk for his signature. Once the governor signs the legislation, it becomes law and all future bargaining sessions will need to be held in full view of the public.
“Beware the Ides of March!”
William Shakespeare enthusiasts recognize this famous quote from his play, Julius Caesar.
Today, March 15, is the Ides of March. It is also the day that Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by a group of conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius. In Shakespeare’s play Caesar’s death is foretold by a soothsayer (fortune teller) with the famous line, “Beware the Ides of March!” Forever the warning that was ignored.