Restoration of Public Education Funds is a Positive Step

Today’s announcement from Governor Little that $99 million will be made available to Idaho’s K-12 public schools is welcome and encouraging news. These funds essentially backfill the $98.7 million that was held back in the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis and will certainly be put to great use for students and professional educators. Opening…

A “Not So Special” Legislative Session

Legislature Passes Troubling Liability Immunity Bill The centerpiece of the special (officially “extraordinary) legislative session called by Gov. Brad Little was developing legislation to grant immunity from liability to school boards and businesses. What resulted was House Bill 6, introduced by Rep. Julianne Young, R-Blackfoot, and passed by both chambers of the legislature almost completely…

Member Spotlight: Julie Underwood

Julie Underwood is the essence of the self-made, do-it-all educator. Classroom teacher? Check. Debate coach? Check. Motivated by student success? Check. Adaptable to the changes brought about by COVID-19? Check. A strong proponent of the value of the IEA and her local education association? Check. She is teaching ninth-grade English at Kimberly High School this…

IEA Calls for Reversal of Cuts to Public Education Budget

Budget Surplus Should Lead to Investments in Idaho Students and Educators With a budget surplus of $70 million in the first two months of the 2020-21 fiscal year and optimism around state revenue growth for the remainder of the year, Governor Little should immediately rescind the nearly $100 million holdback he instituted at the height…

Ybarra’s Budget Falls Far Short

Proposal Leaves Large Gaps in Student Services The K-12 budget proposal unveiled recently by Superintendent Ybarra is woefully inadequate to meet the needs of Idaho students. Even by middle-of-a-pandemic standards, the lack of commitment to and investment in Idaho’s public schools is deeply troubling. IEA representatives provided input to the State Department of Education prior…

COVID-19 and School Buildings: A Doctor’s Perspective

How safe are educators and students if districts decide to reopen school buildings? We discussed the many facets of this question with Dr. Kenny Bramwell, System Director for St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital. Get a medical professional’s perspective on several aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and what factors schools should be weighing as they consider whether or not…