Hundreds attend education reform hearing; some teachers feel left out of conversation
Eric Fink has the story Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
Around 250 teachers, administrators and parents gathered at the Statehouse Monday to sound off at an education reform public hearing in front of both House and Senate lawmakers.
Three months removed from voters electing to repeal the "Students Come First" laws, members of the House and Senate education committees looked to constituents for input as the next round of education debate talks begin. But, some teachers argue legislators don't want to listen to their concerns.
"The teachers are our labor force out there," teacher Chris Stokes said, "they are our battle lines, our front lines. And, we can't keep undermining their efforts."
The Senate Education Committee voted to introduce several new reform laws touted by the Idaho School Board Association. The laws aim to restructure teachers collective bargaining rights. One piece of legislation would allow school boards to reduce teacher salaries.
Boise South Jr. High teacher, Kari Overall signed up to speak at the hearing, but never got the chance. Overall believes with the introduction of these bills, lawmakers are not taking into account the views held by a majority of her fellow teachers.
"Once again the voice of the people and the teachers is being ignored in the legislative process," Overall said. "It's frustrating for voters, frustrating for teachers and frustrating for the children of this state."