Community Blog: The EDge

Education bills: a post-session signings roundup

Otter sine die
Gov. Butch Otter

Butch Otter’s veto stamp got the lion’s share of the attention last week — but the governor quietly signed several bills that have important implications for public schools.

Heading the list: a pair of public schools budget “fixes” and two controversial charter schools bills.

Here’s the rundown of Otter’s Thursday bill signings:

  • House Bill 65, the 2012-13 funding fix, which gives public schools some $30 million that had been earmarked for the repealed Students Come First laws.
  • House Bill 206, which creates $1.4 million in stipends for charter school facilities — or roughly $34,000 per school.
  • House Bill 221, a charter school governance bill, which will allow universities to authorize new charter schools.
  • House Bill 259, which allows school districts to place an employee on unpaid leave, if a court order prevents the employee from working. The employee’s pay will be placed in an account during an investigation.
  • House Bill 275, extending the school districts’ “use it or lose it” spending flexibility for 2013-14. Districts would be allowed to hire fewer employees than the state funds.
  • Senate Bill 1147, which eliminates “evergreen” school contract clauses.
  • Senate Bill 1149, which could require local unions to certify that they represent at least one half of a district’s work force.
  • Senate Bill 1150, which is designed to streamline the school employee grievance process.
  • Senate Bill 1199, a 2013-14 public school budget fix, which governs the way the state will award $21 million in grants for pay for performance and professional development, and $3 million in technology pilot projects. This is a companion to the actual K-12 budget, Senate Bill 1200, which Otter signed on April 9.

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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