Idaho Teachers Union on Salary Proposal: 'Cosmetic and Questionable'


Saying that a controversial teacher salary proposal "fails to recognize the value of experienced teachers, takes far too long to fully activate, and will not come close to keeping pace with compensation levels in surrounding states," the Idaho Education Association (the teachers' union) is pushing back against the plan, which is expected to be the subject of a full-throated debate in the House Education Committee this week.

Without offering it as a formal bill, the plan surfaced Feb. 27 when a spokeswoman for Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter detailed how the plan would be incremental— it wouldn't be at its target goals until 2019. After the five year implementation, or so-called "residency," teachers would make $37,000-$39,000 annually, and "professional" teachers (those with more than three years experience) would make $42,5000 -$50,000. The plan includes other incentives for teachers with master's degrees or who have shown evidence of academic growth among a majority of their students. The "career ladder" salary package would cost about $30 million.

IEA President Penni Cyr says the proposal "may actually create even more frustrations and controversy," adding that the plan could put rural school districts at a disadvantage in a "tug of war with more affluent districts."

"Our members are disappointed that after all of the fanfare surrounding the Governor's Task Force and rhetoric about Idaho's renewed commitment to public education, a largely cosmetic and structurally questionable plan is what has been drafted," said Cyr.