Today marks the end of the fifth full week of the 2016 legislative session, and a busy week it was.
All week, we’ve been asking you to contact your legislators. Most lawmakers have headed home for the weekend. If you have an opportunity to call or meet or email your legislators this weekend, please continue to share your concerns about these bills that were introduced this week and may be debated next week:
HJR 1: This legislation, sponsored by Rep. Ron Nate (R-Rexburg) would ask voters to amend the Idaho Constitution to allow wealthy families to send their children to unaccountable private schools with taxpayers footing the bill, while more money is siphoned away from Idaho’s struggling public schools. You can read more about this on the IEA webpage.
The bill is currently being held by the chair of the House State Affairs Committee. But, it could be scheduled for a hearing at any time. Lawmakers need to hear from you.
By the way, Governor Otter agrees with our position on this legislation. You can read more about his comments and watch a video clip at Idaho Ed News.
SB 1248: This legislation, introduced by Sen. Bob Nonini (R-Post Falls) and sponsored by the Idaho Charter School Network, would allow public charter schools to issue contracts to their teachers that could make these professionals at-will or never allow them to receive continuing contract status.
In testimony against SB 1248, IEA told legislators that the bill is the absence of the rule of law. It is the absence of predictability, and as a result it will further destabilize the education workforce in Idaho and make it even more difficult to help recruit and retain teachers in Idaho.
When it comes to employment law, schools, teachers and children benefits by having uniformity and predictability and arguably the law requires this in the employment of teachers.
The legislation was approved by the Senate Education Committee over the objections of IEA, administrators, and the Idaho School Boards Association. The full Senate may vote on this bill as early as Monday, February 14th. Please contact your senator and urge a NO vote on SB 1248.
HB 442: Introduced by Rep. Ryan Kerby (R-New Plymouth) and sponsored by the Idaho School Boards Association, this legislation would allow school districts to issue ‘extra day’ contracts for all certificated staff members who need additional days beyond the days agreed to in the Master Contract to complete their work assignments.
Currently when those extra days are part of a teacher’s regular job duties, those extra days are simply added on to the standard teacher contract. In contrast, the extra days that a math teacher spends coaching a school team would not be part of the teacher’s regular job duties, and those days are put on a supplemental contract.
HB442 would allow school districts to put those extra days (even when they are part of a teacher’s regular job duties) on a supplemental contract. Why is this problematic?
- First and foremost, there will be no renewable contract status in those extra days, regardless of how long the teacher has taught in the school district;
- By taking away that status, it will be harder and harder to attract teachers to take on these positions because there is year-to-year uncertainty;
- Supplemental contracts will become compulsory because school districts will not offer a teaching contract without the mandatory supplemental contract signed, as well;
- There is nothing to ensure that the teacher will get the same daily rate of pay for these extra days on supplemental contract; and
- It further erodes a teacher’s ability to feel secure in his/her employment.
The House Education Committee is expected to take up debate on this bill as early as Tuesday of next week. Please contact House Education Committee members and urge them to vote NO on this bill.