The Idaho Education Association celebrated successes and charted a course for the Association and for public education at the 2018 IEA Delegate Assembly in Boise this spring. An even 400 delegates represented local associations from around the state, tackling tough issues through Resolutions and New Business Items, while also finding time to collaborate, socialize, and raise a substantial amount of money for the IEA Children’s Fund.
With Kari Overall presiding over her first Delegate Assembly since becoming IEA President in August, the proceedings moved along quickly and efficiently, starting with introductions of IEA officers, members of the Board of Directors, region presidents, and IEA staff on Friday morning, April 20. Following some additional formalities and a lunch break, the IEA welcomed three of the state’s gubernatorial candidates for brief remarks in advance of the May primary elections. Republicans Brad Little and Tommy Ahlquist, along with Democrat A.J. Balukoff, shared their ideas and philosophies regarding public education issues.
A sometimes overlooked, but very important component of the annual Delegate Assembly is the caucus meetings. Those took place prior to the main session both Friday and Saturday, with groups representing ESPs, women and minorities, and each IEA geographic region getting together. The caucus groups discuss subjects of particular importance to them, and sometimes initiative or weigh-in on issues that will be taken up by the larger delegate body.
Saturday’s Delegate Assembly session include a memorial tribute to colleagues who had passed away in the last year, the annual IEA Awards ceremony, and decisions on several resolutions and 16 New Business Items. Delegates gave a green light to funding for a marketing program, a rotating schedule for ESP SPARKS trainings, a one-day meeting in the fall for the Resolutions Committee, and additional professional development trainings. Also approved were measures encouraging the Association to work with legislators on bills that would allow teachers to appeal evaluations, as well as to mandate the reinstatement of school district employees who are cleared of charges levied against them. Among the NBI’s defeated or withdrawn were items encouraging a statewide strike and one to work with legislators to change the “rule of 90” to the “rule of 80”.
A staple of Delegate Assembly every year is the fundraiser for the IEA Children’s Fund, combining a live auction and cash gifts. This was a banner year for the Children’s Fund, with nearly 500 items donated and a grand total of more than $20,000 raised to help students and families with basic necessities. For more information on how to access or donate to the IEA Children’s Fund, visit https://ieachildrensfund.org/
Next year the IEA Delegate Assembly will take place at the Coeur d’Alene Resort in Coeur d’Alene, with our colleagues in Region 1, the North Organizing Center, and the Coeur d’Alene Education Association serving as our gracious hosts. Save the dates now—April 5-6, 2019.