Remember this? It seemed like such a good idea at the time!
If you’ve been following the news, you’ll know that on last week, Governor Little just unveiled at $225 million dollar teacher pay increase to help make our state more competitive in the teacher pay department. I support Governor Little, and while that sounds great, as soon as I looked at the details I realized that this bill-like the advanced portfolios for expert teachers-is a disaster. If we pass this bill, with one stroke of pen we will ensure that every “advanced” teacher on this payscale will have either a 3 or 4 (on a 1-4 point scale) on all 22 components of their annual evaluations.
Idaho delayed implementation of raising base salary for Gem State educators to $40,000 this year. Instead, Governor Little lobbied to raise it to only $38,500 with a promise to reaching the $40,000 benchmark next year.
And although much has been made of increasing base salaries of Idaho’s teachers through the tiered licensure initiative, recent work by the Idaho Education Association showed that when adjusted for inflation, Idaho’s teachers have actually lost 6.9% of their compensation when adjusted for inflation in comparison to ten years ago. We are losing ground, not gaining it.
Since I have done this yearly reflection, I find that 2017 was the most mild year I have had reflected upon. That outcome lead me declare this 365 days the year of Sherri Ybarra.
I know that won’t go over well with some. Let me explain.
Normalcy. 2017 had no major brawls that pitted Idaho’s teachers against the State Department or their elected officials. Minor squabbles aside, 2017 marked a high water mark in the ability of teachers and districts to work collaboratively with the SDE and the statehouse. Continue reading →
My crystal ball was rather cloudy last year. I had predicted that the major focus of the 2016 legislature would focus on taxation, largely by decreasing the highest marginal tax rate for the wealthiest in the Gem State. I thought education would take a backseat.