The Idaho Senate tries again with education reform bills
By Josh Altic
Boise, Idaho: The Idaho Senate will be deciding on three education reform bills introduced by the Senate Education Committee on February 11. The first bill allows for extensions of master agreements about non-salary issues. The second bill authorizes school boards to make salary cuts for all teachers which contradicts a law passed in 1963 that prohibits pay cuts for public school teachers. Finally the third bill prevents school boards from putting teachers on unpaid leave for more than 60 days during internal investigations by the school district.
During a public hearing about these new bills, some critics accused the new legislation of being to similar to the education reform bills that were passed in 2011 but overturned in 2012 by the voters in three veto referendums. Others pushed the Senate to draft bills providing more funding to school districts. The superintendent in Minidoka County School District, Scott Rogers, talked about his district dealing with increased insurance and utility costs and being forced to reduce teaching staff, increase class size and make tough programming choices.