In November, hundreds of thousands of Idahoans voted to repeal Propositions 1, 2, and 3. However, the final vote on the three Propositions did not end the discussion of education reform.
In a perfect world, the task force appointed by Governor Otter would have dealt with all of the concepts included in the Propositions, and the group would have been given the time necessary to accomplish their work and bring forth recommendations. But, we do not live in a perfect world.
Even before the election results were certified, many of the concepts embodied in each of the three Propositions were already being discussed and decisions about reintroducing them had begun.
Over the course of this legislative session, the IEA has been intent on advocating the best legislation for students, schools, and educators.
Where we’ve been able to, we’ve put our support behind bills we think will help our members.
Where we’ve been able to improve on legislation that we are unable to support, we’ve agreed to take no position.
And, where we believe the legislation is hurtful, we’re opposing it.
Here is a synopsis of the bills and IEA’s position on each.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
|HB 163||Teacher Contracts||Allows districts to deliver individual contracts to teachers via email. In the event the teacher does not respond to the email within a specific time period, the district would be required to follow up via certified mail.||
|HB 205||Education Steps||Reinstates the two years of movement on the salary grid, assuring school districts receive the necessary $4 million to fully fund education movement on the salary grid for those teachers who have earned college credits over the past few years but who’ve been either unable to move on their local salary schedule or who’ve gone unpaid for that additional education, due to legislative decisions to freeze these payments to school districts.||SUPPORT|
|HB 259||Involuntary Leave||Requires that if a district puts an employee on involuntary paid administrative leave, the district will have 60 days to investigate the matter. It also allows the district to stop paying the salary and benefits of any employee if a court order prevents the employee from carrying out his or her contractual duties.||OPPOSE|
|HB 260||Negotiations||Requires all negotiations to be completed by June 10 of each year. If bargaining has not concluded, the district shall impose its last, best offer. It also allows either party to call for mediation, as long as the mediation is completed before June 10th. SUNSETS July 1, 2014||OPPOSE|
|HB 261||RIF||Requires RIF decisions be made by the local school board and encourages the board to adopt a policy establishing how to recall individuals who were subject of a RIF. SUNSETS July 1, 2014||SUPPORT|
|SB 1089||ERIP||Repeals the Early Retirement Incentive Program (ERIP) for teachers, a program which has been in place since 1996 and, based on calculations by the IEA, has saved the state nearly $100 million over the past 14 years.||OPPOSE|
|SB 1092||Math and Science Teachers||Allows for permanent and ongoing funding for math and science teachers.||OPPOSE|
|SB 1098||Open Negotiations||Requires all negotiations between the school district and the local association be held in public. The IEA initially developed this legislation as an alternative to a bill introduced by the Idaho School Boards and Idaho School Administrators Associations. Since initial introduction of the legislation, all three organizations have come to agreement and support this bill.||SUPPORT|
|SB 1147||Master Agreements||Limits all contracts to one year with regard to salaries, benefits and any items with direct or indirect cost to the school district; all other portions of the agreement could be extended for no more than two years. Also eliminates Fact Finding. SUNSETS July 1, 2014||OPPOSE|
|SB 1148||Teacher Contracts||Gives the local school board sole authority to reduce or increase contract days and/or reduce or increase the salary of employees for any reason or no reason whatsoever and further deny an individual due process hearing for affected employees. SUNSETS July 1, 2014||OPPOSE|
|SB 1149||Negotiations||Requires the local association to prove that they represent 50% + 1 of the professional employees in the district in negotiations, should the district request such information. Also, requires both parties to prove they have ratified the master agreement each year.||OPPOSE|
|SB 1150||Board Hearings/Court Review||Limits courts from considering new evidence, should a board hearing be challenged in District Court.||OPPOSE|