Even if Monday wasn’t budget day, we’d have our hands full with education news at the Statehouse. A few other items on our radar.
- Initiative and referendum reform. The Idaho Farm Bureau is sponsoring Senate Bill 1108, which would tighten the requirements for voter initiatives and referendums. The Farm Bureau says this is unrelated to Students Come First — but that repeal was a recurring theme during a Senate State Affairs hearing on the proposal Friday. Senate State Affairs is expected to vote Monday.
- Collective bargaining, Round 3. The Senate Education Committee will get its first look at a third round of bills addressing collective bargaining issues. The Idaho School Boards Association wants to reinstate pieces of the defeated Proposition 1 labor law; the Idaho Education Association has objected. The ISBA has rewritten, and rewritten, several of its proposals.
- Charter school facilities. House Bill 206, the controversial proposal granting charter schools $1.4 million to offset facilities costs, is on the House’s third reading calendar. That means a vote could come Monday. Here’s a look back at the House Education Committee’s deliberations on HB 206.
- School bonds. Should public schools be able to float 30-year bond issues, like other local governments? The House Education Committee will consider House Bill 218, which would extend the maximum lifespan of bonds from 20 years to 30 years.
- Group homes. Should Idaho taxpayers foot the bill for educating troubled teens, who have been transferred from out of state to Idaho group homes? Senate Bill 1097 would shift this cost to the group homes — and perhaps, ultimately, to the student’s native state. The Senate could vote on the bill Monday. Here’s a closer look at the issue.
- Idaho Leads Project. Roger Quarles, director of the Idaho Leads Project at Boise State University, will make presentations at House Education and Senate Education. (Disclosure: The Idaho Leads Project heads Idaho Education News.)