Community Blog: The EDge

Divided Caldwell School Board stays with ISBA

After lengthy and contentious debate, a divided Caldwell School Board voted to spend $10,000 to retain its membership with the Idaho School Boards Association.

Monday night’s debate took on definite political overtones, reports Kelcie Moseley of the Idaho Press-Tribune.

Several teachers urged the School Board to rescind the membership — pointing out that the ISBA endorsed Proposition 1, the Students Come First law that rewrote the schools’ collective bargaining process. Voters rejected Prop 1 in November; in 2013, but ISBA convinced the Legislature to pass several bills restoring elements of Prop 1.

“As I look at the cost-to-benefit ratio of membership, I don’t see the benefits the cost allegedly buys,” Caldwell teacher Travis Manning said, according to the Press-Tribune. “You could give this money to the district (Tuesday) and see a difference by Wednesday.”

School Board member Leif Skyving led the push to rescind the ISBA membership; Skving, like Manning, has run for the Legislature on the Democratic ticket. Skyving’s appeal to rescind membership drew a terse reaction from board Chairman Charles Stout. “That was quite the speech, what are you campaigning for now?”

After the wrangling, the board voted 3-2 to remain aligned with ISBA.

Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger at Idaho Education News (idahoednews.org). Kevin is a former Statesman editorial page editor, with 27 year's experience in Idaho journalism.

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