IEA Statement on 2023 State of the State Address


CONTACT: Mike Journee – (208) 514-5041 –

Idaho Education Association President Layne McInelly released the following statement on behalf of IEA members in reaction to Gov. Brad Little’s State of the State address today:

Governor Little’s proposed investment in Idaho’s public school students, classrooms and educators is an extraordinary commitment to the future of this state. IEA members, as Idaho’s most important education experts, enthusiastically endorse his proposals as a direct and effective path for creating the education outcomes Idaho’s children and families deserve.

His recommendations for showing all educators — both certified teachers and classified educators — the respect they deserve through competitive, fair compensation helps to address many of the challenges IEA members and other education stakeholders highlighted in recent years.

Most crucial among those challenges is the ongoing educator vacancy crisis crippling the ability of school districts across the state to deliver a quality education to students. We know that having a certified, high-quality educator in the classroom is strongly linked to student achievement. Yet in recent years, record numbers of educators have left or are considering leaving this critical profession — citing a lack of respect for their profession, divisive culture-war politics around education policy and inadequate pay and support for a growing workload. Governor Little’s proposal could turn the tide on this crisis by offering Idaho educators a fair and competitive salary.

Also, Governor Little’s recommendation to pay our critical education support professionals and classified school district employees competitive wages will help schools wrap their arms around the ongoing crisis in student behavioral health and wellbeing. These dedicated and beloved school employees — secretaries, nurses, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, classroom aides and others — are critical supports for students and certified educators alike. Without them, schools, students and educators suffer. They deserve respect and a living wage for their important role in the education of our state’s children and lives of its families.

On behalf of IEA members and all educators, deep thanks to Gov. Little for his continued commitment to Idaho’s public schools and leadership in driving education policy that make our public schools the best they can be for our students.

Layne McInelly is president of the Idaho Education Association and a professional certified educator who taught in Idaho public schools for 12 years.

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