Rep. Tom Trail, R-Moscow, requested an Idaho attorney general’s opinion on a troubling question he said was raised by state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna’s “iSTARS” teacher pay plan: What happens to a teacher who gives up continuing contract rights in exchange for higher pay, but then finds that the Legislature hasn’t allocated enough money for the extra pay? Luna said at a public hearing last week that in that case, the teacher could return to continuing contract status. But the attorney general’s opinion found otherwise, and raised other questions about iSTARS as well, including whether teachers would have to sue school districts. “If you read the attorney general’s opinion, Mr. Luna is 100 percent wrong,” Trail said, and iSTARS is “not only unworkable, but it very potentially is constitutionally flawed.” He added, “I don’t think he really realizes what a bombshell he has on his hands.” Luna, asked about the opinion, said he thought it was “highly unlikely” that lawmakers wouldn’t fund the plan once they’d passed it. He added, “It is one attorney’s opinion.” Click below to read the full opinion.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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