IEA Leaders Pitch School Districts on Funding Cooperation

IEA Executive Director Paul Stark details the Idaho Legislature’s constitutional obligation to adequately fund public education.

On Tuesday, Idaho school board officials and school administrators heard a pitch from two IEA leaders about collaborating to secure adequate funding for Idaho public schools.

Paul Stark, IEA executive director, and Shane Reichert, IEA general counsel, spoke to a gathering of Idaho school board officials and administrators at the annual Idaho Education Law Seminar in Boise, an annual gather hosted by the Boise law firm Anderson, Julian and Hull.

Their message: Idaho lawmakers are shirking their constitutional duty “to establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools” and that by working together, Idaho’s educators, school boards and administrators fix that problem.

“Collectively, we should tell the Legislature that we’ve had enough,” Stark told the group. “It’s gotten bad enough and things need to change.”

Reichert and Stark pointed to this year’s $600 million income tax cut approved by lawmakers and the corresponding $216 million in supplemental levies voted on across the state to fund basic school expenses as proof. They suggested that every school district in the state should create a coalition between their IEA local president, their superintendent and their school board president to lobby their local lawmakers about turning Idaho’s systemic neglect of public schools around.

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