Proposal to boost Idaho teacher pay revealed to lawmakers - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Proposal to boost Idaho teacher pay revealed to lawmakers

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The Idaho House Education Committee listened to the plan Friday but did not vote on any legislation. The Idaho House Education Committee listened to the plan Friday but did not vote on any legislation.
BOISE, Idaho - One of the Idaho Legislature's most anticipated proposals to boost teacher pay has finally been revealed just nine days before lawmakers begin setting the state's public education budget.

The Idaho House Education Committee listened to the plan Friday but did not vote on any legislation.

Under the plan, beginning teacher pay would bump up from $31,750 to $32,200 per year school starting in fiscal year 2016 and eventually increase to $37,000 over five years.

After three years of working at the beginning level, teachers would qualify to move into a new tier. This would boost teachers into a higher pay grade ranging from $42,000 to $50,000 per year, depending on experience and educational background.

The committee is scheduled to introduce the bill early next week.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

President of the Idaho Education Association, Penni Cyr, released this statement in response to the proposal:

The teacher salary proposal unveiled today does not adequately address the problems that it was intended to solve. In fact, it may actually create even more frustration and controversy for teachers, students and school districts.

The proposed salary apportionment levels are not sufficient to address the number one goal of this legislation—to help Idaho attract and retain quality teachers. The current plan fails to recognize the value of experienced teachers, takes far too long to fully activate, and will not come close to keeping pace with compensation levels in surrounding states. This proposal also could potentially put rural districts at a disadvantage in a tug of war with more affluent districts, and will provide disincentives for teachers to work with special needs students.

Our members are disappointed that after all of the fanfare surrounding the Governor's Task Force and rhetoric about Idaho's renewed commitment to public education, a largely cosmetic and structurally questionable plan is what has been drafted. We hope that this proposal ends up being just a springboard for a more robust and well-conceived plan that actually moves Idaho forward in a tangible way, and we stand ready to work with the legislature to make that happen.
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