More than 400 teachers from throughout Idaho are in Boise Friday and Saturday. They’re delegates to an assembly of the statewide teachers union. This is the 120th time the Idaho Education Association has held this annual meeting. But this year is a little different.
Every year members of the IEA elect delegates to set the organization’s agenda. This year they’ll meet just like always. Delegates will make proposals, take votes and set priorities for the next year. But this time around there’s already an item on their list.
“We have our referendum coming up with propositions 1, 2 and 3. That’ll be a major part of our agenda.” Says Penni Cyr, the IEA’s president.
She says the effort is already well under way to repeal Idaho’s Student’s Come First education laws. Those laws are deeply unpopular with IEA members in part because they restrict collective bargaining rights. While Cyr says the referendum vote won’t be the chief topic of the delegate assembly, the annual meeting will take the campaign to the next level.
“I believe that it will fully engage, excite, get our members ready to go out and talk to their friends and family and neighbors and get people ready to repeal these laws in November.”
Cyr says if voters do repeal the Student’s Come First laws, the IEA would like to see a new effort to reform Idaho’s education system that brings everyone to the table.