Education groups battle over return of pieces of controversial ed laws
A bill at the Idaho Statehouse would allow school districts to make changes to pay and duration of teacher contracts during the contract term. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
A bill at the Idaho Statehouse would allow school districts to make changes to pay and duration of teacher contracts during the contract term.
"Without being able to reduce salaries, our only option is to reduce staff,” says Karen Echeverria with the Idaho School Boards Association, “which means higher class sizes for everybody; and I don't think anyone wants that."
And what do teachers have to say about the legislation?
"It was bad education policy in 2008. It's bad education policy in 2011, and it's bad education policy in 2013,” says Robin Nettinga with the Idaho Education Association.
Nettinga says the contract bill, as along with others at the Statehouse, come from laws over-turned by voters in 2012.
"When is enough, enough? And, what does it take, in order to help legislators understand that we said no," she says.
But, Echeverria says they intentionally avoided the main issues of Proposition 1: Limiting negotiations and lengths of teacher contracts.
"We did not address the two big issues that were concerns with the teacher's union, and we are only addressing those other elements that were in proposition one," says Echeverria.
With a sunset clause that makes the bill expire after one year, Echeverria says the bill comes with added protection.
"There'll be an interim legislative committee that's going to review several of the bills and then bring back recommendations next year on whether or not we should move forward with those," she says.
Nettinga says committees like that should come before lawmakers change any laws.
"That's the answer,” she says. “That's the solution, I believe, that we should be looking toward, rather than just re-introducing things that we know the voters rejected, whether in part or in whole."