Idaho Teachers Group Says School Boards Ignoring Voter Message

Jan 31, 2013

Penni Cyr

Idaho legislative education leaders brokered a meeting Wednesday between Idaho Education Association representatives and representatives from the Idaho School Boards Association. The groups are at odds over a set of bills the association of school boards has introduced.

Teachers’ union president Penni Cyr calls the bills deja vu because they contain provisions that were in the Students Come First laws voters rejected in November.  Cyr says it’s not up to the school boards association to decide what parts of the laws voters did or didn’t want.  She says voters said no to all of it.

“I think they also told us that the process was not the correct process,” Cyr says. “And that it needs to be an open, transparent process where everybody puts their heads together and comes up with what’s needed. And this didn’t happen this time.”

Cyr says yesterday’s meeting was the beginning of a conversation. But it’s a conversation, she thinks, that should have started before the bills were ever written. 

The parts of Students Come First the school boards association want lawmakers to restore include conducting contract negotiations in public meetings. They would also limit labor agreements to one year and set a deadline for collective bargaining. Under the proposal, if an agreement isn’t reached by that date, the school district would set the terms.

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