The Idaho School Boards Association took a stance in education reform, voicing its support for Proposition 1 of the “Students Come First” laws.
Proposition 1 is the legislation that allows local school boards to control their own negotiation processes with their teachers.
The ISBA believes that this change will free up some time to put students first.
The announcement comes less than six weeks away from Election Day, amid a veritable sea of debate.
Proposition one addresses teacher negotiations, leaving what was once up to state officials up to locally elected school boards.
Under the so-called “Luna Law,” any negotiated agreements and contracts would have to be brought up for discussion each year — eliminating perpetual contracts which roll over year after year. The proposition limits contract negotiations to strictly salary and benefits. Those negotiations and agreements would have to take place in a public forum. The last hired would not necessarily be the first fired, and tenure would be eliminated for new teachers.
Opponents believe these measures will silence teachers in their collective bargaining rights.
ISBA Vice Chair Lisa Burtenshaw believes the exact opposite.
“Proposition 1 does not silence teachers on working condition,” Burtenshaw said. “It allows us to talk about them throughout the year. “
Burtenshaw said that dealing with teachers this way will ultimately help students.
“The quicker you get to a problem, the faster it can be resolved, therefore helping students rather than hitting it in the back end, rather than a negotiated contract,” she explained.
Under Proposition 1, local school boards would still be able to discuss non-contract issues outside of salary and benefits with teachers. Those items would be placed in board policies or in the handbook.
The ISBA will not take a stance on Propositions 2 and 3.