Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, has made a substitute motion on the teachers division of the public school budget, seconded by Rep. Cliff Bayer. Keough's motion would freeze the salary grid for a year, use stimulus money to reduce a 5 percent base pay cut to 2.63 percent, and use stimulus money to eliminate the need for three furlough days. It also phases out an early retirement program over the next two years. "This isn't easy for any of us," said Keough, who noted she's married to a longtime Idaho teacher.
Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Post Falls, said, "I have one son and two daughters-in-law who are teachers, and I'm not real thrilled about cutting their salary." Responded Rep. Maxine Bell, "Would you like to speak to my nieces and nephews?"