Community Blog: The EDge

Meridian, Boise split on school labor bills

The seven bills revisiting pieces of the Proposition 1 collective bargaining overhaul haven’t just divided stakeholder groups.

The state’s two largest school districts are split on elements of the idea.

When the Idaho School Boards Association wanted someone to speak in favor of its bills at Friday’s education “listening session,” the task went to ISBA president and Meridian School Board member Anne Ritter.

About an hour later, Boise School Board trustee Nancy Gregory spoke in opposition to elements of the ISBA’s bills. Specifically, she spoke against a bill that would allow a school board to impose its best, final contract offer in the event of an impasse. “This legislation tips the scales of bargaining.”

In a Sunday guest opinion in the Idaho Statesman, Meridian schools superintendent Linda Clark bristled at the claim that the bills were a rehash of “Luna laws.” Wrote Clark: “These bills are not education reform nor are they retaliation or vindictiveness. They are measures required for districts to conduct business, and operate in a financially prudent way.”

The ISBA says its membership supports the seven collective bargaining bills by a 3-to-1 margin. However, this wouldn’t be the first time Boise trustees split publicly from the ISBA; Boise trustees criticized the statewide group for endorsing Proposition 1 last fall.

Here’s a link to Idaho Education News’ coverage of the listening session.

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.

Posted in The EDge