Community Blog: The EDge

Unions, school boards: Gearing up for battle?

Education groups are expected to meet again later this week to continue discussing seven collective bargaining bills — controversial proposals that contain elements from the defeated Proposition 1.

The parties met for three hours Monday with Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, and House Education Committee Chairman Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle.

How’d things go?

Consider this: Afterwards, both the Idaho School Boards Association and the Idaho Education Association took to the Internet to motivate their membership.

Here are some remarks from Karen Echeverria of the ISBA, which is sponsoring the bills: “It will be imperatively important for the ISBA and (Idaho Association of School Administrators) membership to contact legislators and explain the need for this legislation. They will undoubtedly hear from the other side and they will need to know there are those who believe in this legislation. We have a lot of support, but it will take everything we have to get it passed. If you don’t know who your legislators are, please contact us and we can get you that information.”

And here’s what the IEA said on its website after Monday’s meeting: “In conversations with school boards association and school administrators’ lobbyists, it has been repeatedly stated that members of their organizations need these ‘tools’ to manage their districts. Do your local school board members support these measures? Please contact your local school board members and find out if they believe abdicating local control to the state is really how they want to operate your district. Urge them to listen to the voters who overwhelmingly rejected many of these ideas and the process that was used to develop the original laws and these bills, as well.”

Softening of positions? It doesn’t sound that way.

(Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger with Idaho Education News.)

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