Weekly Legislative Update (January 30-February 3)

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This week the State Controllers Office made a presentation open to the public regarding a new online computer program they will be using. They believe this will far more efficient and significant improvement. It functions somewhat like “a cloud”. Encrypted for security. Additionally it features many tools to make tasks easier to perform.

Thus far this Legislative Session has been wrapping up its review of the administrative rules from the various state agencies. This is valuable process that allows the legislature reject rules or portions of the rules that are unduly burdensome or do not fit with the intent of the code. We have also been reviewing the governor’s appointments of individuals to the various state boards and commissions. We have been moving at a consistent pace. [Read more…]

Senator Nonini Appointed to Idaho’s Higher Education Task Force

The following is excerpted from the Idaho.gov website on February 1, 2017.

Membership Announced for Higher Ed, Workforce Development Task Forces

(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced the full membership rolls today for two new task forces created to study and recommend how best to address Idaho’s “K-through-Career” education and job training needs beyond high school.

The Governor’s 36-member Higher Education Task Force and 17-member Workforce Development Task Force both have scheduled organizational meetings in Boise on Friday, February 10th to begin their work. They are patterned on the Governor’s successful Task Force for Improving Education, which submitted 20 recommendations for K-12 public school reforms. The State now is in the third year of a five-year plan for implementing those recommendations targeting teacher pay, preparation and professional development, local school accountability, post-secondary counseling, classroom technology and student performance. [Read more…]

Weekly Legislative Update (March 23-27)

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CAREER LADDER – THE TEACHER-PAY BILL

The Senate voted 34 to 0 to approve HB 296 requiring significant increases in teacher pay over the next five years.  Sponsored by Senator Mortimer, this bill establishes a funding model for teacher pay based on a new compensation system for both residency and professional development compensation.  Many Senators voiced support for this legislation in that it provides an accountability system for raises, providing that teachers meet performance requirements.  In addition, teachers would be eligible for payments for additional educational degrees.  Although there has been much debate on whether the state can afford this legislation, many agreed that invest­ing in Idaho’s education professionals benefits Idaho’s economy and students in the long-run. [Read more…]

Weekly Legislative Update (March 16-20)

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PARENTAL RIGHTS IN EDUCATION – The Senate voted 23 to 12 to approve SB 1096a to add a new chapter to Title 33, Idaho Code affirming parental rights in education.  Sponsored by Senator Den Hartog and Senator Souza, this new chapter affirms that a student’s parent or guardian is the primary person responsible for the education of the student.  This legislation places the state in a secondary and supportive role to the parent or guardian. The chapter outlines how school districts and public charter schools encourage and facilitate parental involvement in the education of their children.  For instance, school districts and public charter schools are to inform parents about the materials being used in the education of their children.  Parents, who object to materials being used, have the option to withdraw their children from an activity or class.  The act requires an annual notice of parental rights be distributed to parents and guardians. [Read more…]

Weekly Legislative Update (March 9-13)

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STATE BUDGET UPDATE – The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) finished setting the state budget this week.  All budgets were set with the exception of public schools, which is being delayed due to the proposed “career ladder” for teachers.  JFAC desires that the policy decisions take place prior to the budgetary actions.  Not including public schools, the rest of the budget is at a modest 2.4 percent increase which is no small fete since it includes a 3 percent increase in compensation for state employees.  Overall, JFAC approved spending at $19 million less than the Governor recommended. [Read more…]