Fall 2018 IEA Leadership Letter
Welcome back to the start of another school year! We hope your summer was relaxing and rejuvenating. The 2018-2019 school year will be a watershed for public education in Idaho. Idahoans will elect a new Governor for the first time in over a decade. The Idaho Legislature is set to rewrite the state’s public-school funding formula for the first time in over two decades. Idaho continues to see growth across the state on many fronts while the economy continues to prosper. Now is the time for educators to engage, educate, and mobilize as decisions are made that will shape Idaho’s educational landscape for the next generation of students.
During the summer the Public Schools Funding Formula Interim Committee held hearings across the state. The goal of these meetings was to collect feedback about what works with the current model for funding Idaho schools and what needs improvement. Educators turned out in droves to attend these important events. Thank you to each one of you who attended, testified, submitted written feedback, completed the survey, or participated in the small group session. Your voice is important, and your opinions were heard. The committee met last month for the first of four meetings scheduled this summer and fall, agreeing on initial recommendations. You can access a video recording of the meeting here.
In subsequent meetings the committee will begin modeling the costs associated with the recommendations and making final decisions. We will keep you apprised of the latest changes and we will need your voice to contact legislators as the recommendations reach their final stages. The full Legislature will make decisions on the committee’s recommendation and we know lawmakers will need to hear from you. Stay tuned as this important work continues to unfold.
We are excited about the IEA’s continued membership growth. In the fourth year of our targeted local work, strategic planning in those growing locals and pointed efforts to support students and educators remain a shining example of the power of collective action. We look forward to continued success and member engagement as members bring their voice into decision-making conversations and support students and colleagues.
During the 2017 Delegate Assembly, IEA members passed a new business item requesting IEA create a marketing/branding task force to look at how the IEA communicates with members and markets itself externally. Led by Post Falls member Amber Poelstra, the committee submitted nine recommendations to the 2018 Delegate Assembly, which were enthusiastically passed. The recommendations include ideas for training locals how to build community partnerships, plans for consistent year-round content available to support members in their classrooms, and a process for spotlighting more members across the state. The IEA also recently hired a new Director of Digital and Social Media Technology, Jodie Thiel-Sebolt. Jodie brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in areas of marketing, branding, and social media engagement. We are excited for her to join the IEA team and help bring this work alive.
Thank you for your continued membership in the IEA and for all you do for Idaho’s public-school students each day. We have made substantial progress on public education in Idaho since 2010, but we cannot be complacent or remain content with where we are. Continue to educate, agitate, activate, and inspire. Together we will ensure that the next generation of Idaho students have access to quality schools which are thoroughly resourced. Have a great school year!
President, Idaho Education Association
Executive Director, Idaho Education Association