ISTARS Lite Goes to the Full Senate for a Vote

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The Senate Education Committee voted 5-4 to send Tom Luna’s ISTARS proposal for teacher pay to the full Senate with a “do pass” recommendation.

* Voting in favor of SB 1436-Sen.s Goedde (R-Coeur d’Alene), Fulcher (R-Meridian), Gannon (R-Buhl), Pearce (R-New Plymouth), and Jorgenson (R-Hayden Lake)

* Voting in opposition-Sen.s Schroeder (R-Moscow), Bastian (R-Eagle), Burkett (D-Boise), and Sagness (D-Pocatello). Those who favored the proposal made the irrational argument that a flawed plan was better than no plan at all.

Here are some of the comments of those who opposed:

“We can do better. We should be supplementing teacher salaries, not supplanting them with bonuses.” -Sen. Stan Bastian

“You can do it right. The process we’ve used is not it.” -Sen. Dick Sagness

“Some would say it is better to do something even if it’s wrong. I ask, why?” -Sen. Gary Schroeder

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Monday the IEA presented a proposal to the committee that teachers receive an across the board 3% increase paralleling what other state workers will receive and that a committee made up of representatives from the State Department, the IEA, the Idaho School Board Association, the Idaho School Administrators Association and the State Board meet and develop a workable incentive plan for teacher pay. We can hope the full Senate will see the wisdom of creating a thoughtful plan that brings to the table representatives of all parties who have a vested interest.

ISTARS will probably come up for a vote early next week, so if you agree that ISTARS is flawed and the IEA’s proposal ought to be considered, send an e-mail to your senator letting her/him know your thoughts. You can find Senator’s contact information here.

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