Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, asked several questions of SB 1108's sponsor, Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene. Among them: Whether “grandfathered” continuing contracts can be terminated, under the bill, during a reduction in force. Goedde said yes, that's what the bill requires. Sen. Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, objected to some of LeFavour's questions, saying they constituted debate, not questioning of the sponsor.
LeFavour then debated against the bill. “In my mind, that is a pretty vulnerable continuing contract,” she told the Senate. “There are very few provisions that will remain in place to protect that individual from the politics of districts.” That could include teachers who are demanding, and have the children of powerful community members in their classes, she said; teachers who discuss difficult subjects in health or other classes; and teachers who are of a different religion than members of their local school board. “That assurance and that academic integrity that comes with continuing contracts will be completely lost,” LeFavour said. She said the bill will declare “open season on those teachers.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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