Updated: Several measures working through Idaho’s legislature echo parts of the laws known as Students Come First. Those laws were overturned by voters last November through ballot propositions. (You can read a detailed description of what was in those here.) We’ve put together a rundown of bills that reflect parts of Students Come First which may pass or have already received lawmaker approval.
Since we published this list, two big changes have taken place. Wednesday the Senate rejected the public schools budget. We had included the budget because it contained money for pay for performance bonuses reminiscent of those in Students Come First. And a measure that had died prior to our posting has been revived. Below you'll find an updated break down of these measures.
Senate Bill 1040: Gives districts the ability to shorten or lengthen a teacher's contract and reduce the salary. It is sponsored by the Idaho Association of School Boards and the Idaho Association of School Administrators and opposed by the Idaho Education Association. It has passed the education committee and received amendments by the Senate.
House Bill 275: Gives flexibility for what’s known as “use it or lose it” money. Districts can employ fewer teachers than they receive money for (up to 9.5 percent fewer) without losing that money. Sponsored by the Idaho Association of School Boards and Idaho Association of School Administrators it’s passed the house with some Republican objection and passed the Senate. It still needs final House approval.
Senate Bill 1055: Requires districts to post school budgets and master labor agreements on the district website. Sponsored by Senator John Goedde, it passed the House and Senate and has been signed into law by the governor.
Senate Bill 1147: Limits teacher contracts to one year. Sponsored by Idaho School Boards Association and Idaho Association of School Administrators it passed the Senate with Democrats and some Republicans voting no. It passed the House over Democratic objection.
House Bill 317: Requires that teachers receive an annual evaluation. Sponsored by Idaho’s Department of Education it has passed the House with no objection.
Senate Bill 1098: Requires labor negotiations between districts and local teachers’ unions be carried out in open meetings. Sponsored by the Idaho Education Association it passed the House and Senate with no objections and has been signed into law by the governor.
Senate Bill 1149: Requires local unions to prove they represent a majority of teachers before carrying out negotiations with districts. Sponsored by the Idaho School Boards Association it has passed the Senate with Democrats and some Republicans voting no. It passed the House with Democrats opposed.
Senate Bill 1089: Repeals the state’s early retirement incentive program for teachers. Sponsored by Senators Bayer and Fulcher, it passed the Senate with Democrats objecting. It passed in the House with Democrats and some Republicans voting no. It has been signed into law by the governor.
House Bill 260: Sets June 10th as the deadline for all contract negotiations between districts and teachers’ unions to be finished and allows districts to impose their last best offer if an agreement is not reached by that time. Sponsored by the Idaho School Boards Association and Idaho Association of School Administrators, it has passed the House over objections from Democrats as well as the Senate Education Committee.
House Bill 261: When teacher layoffs are necessary, seniority cannot be the only criteria districts use to determine which teachers get laid off. This is different from Students Come First which did not allow seniority to be considered. It was sponsored by the Idaho Association of School Boards and Idaho Association of School Administrators. It passed the House and Senate with no objections.
Originally published March 25.
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