Legislation that would allow public money to be used for private schools was introduced in the House Education Committee earlier this week, and could receive a full hearing in the coming days. We reported on this bill in Wednesday’s Hotline, and encourage supporters of public education to contact their legislators to tell them to oppose this harmful policy.
The Idaho Education Association joined with the two other primary education stakeholder groups, the Idaho School Boards Association, and the Idaho Association of School Administrators, to write a statement outlining our opposition to private school vouchers in Idaho.
Click here for more information about private school vouchers and how they would compromise our public schools.
Bill to Limit Bond or Levy Elections Passes Committee, Sent to Amending Order
The House State Affairs Committee voted 13-1 to pass a bill that would prohibit districts from re-running bond or levy elections within a year of the original election. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard. It was sent to the House’s amending order, where it could face modifications, including a potential change from the 12 months in the current language to 11 months.
This bill is problematic for many districts, which are severely under-funded and are in desperate need of new facilities. Read more about HB 487 from Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review.
House Education Committee Hears Bill to Lower the Bar for Charter School Administrators
The House Education Committee started testimony and discussion on HB 566 Friday, but extended the hearing until Monday due to time constraints. This legislation would allow charter schools to hire administrators with just a college degree, and not require any background or experience in education.
The IEA plans to testify against this legislation when the hearing resumes Monday. We believe that students in all schools deserve administrators who are properly trained to deliver the guidance and leadership teachers and students need.
Loan Forgiveness Legislation to be Heard February 27
Legislation proposed by IEA member Rep. Sally Toone, D-Gooding, aimed at helping rural and economically disadvantaged schools recruit and retain teachers, will be heard by the House Education Committee February 27. The bill would encourage teachers to work in these districts by enabling them to write off $3,000 per year of student loan debt for four years.
Education Budget on Tap for JFAC Monday
The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee will take their first look at the public education budget Monday. There is agreement on many aspects of this budget, including full funding of the Career Ladder salary allocation plan, but the committee will need to decide the best way to deal with rising health insurance costs that have been a major issue for educators and school districts. Read more from Clark Corbin of Idaho Education News.
You can listen to live audio streaming of Monday’s meeting, which begins at 8:30.