About 150 Idaho Education Association members descended on the Idaho Statehouse Jan. 16 to lobby lawmakers on behalf of public education, Idaho students and their colleagues statewide for IEA Lobby Day 2023.
Traditionally held during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, IEA Lobby Day is perhaps the most important day of advocacy for Idaho public education. Each year, dozens of IEA members — most engaged in IEA’s Political Action Committee for Education or PACE — talk directly to policymakers about the statewide education policies needed to create the free and equitable public schools across Idaho.
“There’s little question that IEA Lobby Day 2023 was a huge success,” said IEA President Layne McInelly. “Policymakers — both friend and foe — know that you and your fellow IEA members are a force in Idaho education policy. They listen when the IEA speaks.”
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO IEA’S ‘HOTLINE’ PODCAST ABOUT THE EVENT
This year’s Lobby Day started on a high note after Gov. Brad Little’s recommendations to lift Idaho’s starting teacher salary to among the top 10 in the nation — an extraordinary commitment to Idaho’s public school students, classrooms and educators.
Enthusiasm among participants grew during the annual Lobby Day Dinner when more than 20 dignitaries central to public education policy — including Gov. Little, Lt. Gov. Scott Bedke, the chairpersons of both the House and Senate education committees and 14 other lawmakers — joined participants for dinner the night before Lobby Day.
Pro-public education speeches from Gov. Little and House Education Committee Chairwoman Julie Yamamoto during the earned each a standing ovation from the educators present.
On Monday, Jan. 16, Lobby Day participants spent the day meeting with lawmakers promoting IEA’s legislative priorities and urging them to support Gov. Little’s recommendations on educator pay — especially his recommendation to invest $97 million in better pay for Idaho’s education support professionals.
On the heels of Lobby Day 2023, a number of local education associations from around the state are planning to return to the Statehouse for more conversations with lawmakers during a series of Local Lobby Days. CLICK HERE to learn more about Local Lobby Days, see if your local association is scheduled and how to sign up.
More details about IEA Lobby Day 2023 can be found on IEA’s social media channels and by searching #iealobbyday2023.