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Eye On Boise

Testimony: ‘Stakeholder groups are closer together’

In testimony this morning on SB 1199:

Ryan Kerby, superintendent of the New Plymouth school district, said, “We believe that the bill is a little stronger now. … The expectations are a little bit clearer, and we think we’re going to probably be better off at the end. … We’re very pleased … that the stakeholder groups are closer together, have a better working relationship on these concepts than we’ve had in many, many years. That’s a very big deal when we’re out there in the middle trying to improve things.”

Lisa Boyd, principal at Desert Springs Elementary School in the Vallivue School District, between Caldwell and Nampa, said her school is a pilot school for her district in providing iPads to kids. “This last yer we’ve been lucky enough to get a classroom set per grade level as well as some of the infrastructure we need,” she said. She said her school includes high numbers of low-income students and students who are just learning English. “I think we could pull the fire alarm and they don’t move,” she said. “They’re glued to that iPad. … They’re super, super excited.”

Robin Nettinga, executive director of the Idaho Education Association, said, “We realize that while the public school funding bill is yet to be written and vetted, and that SB 1199 simply codifies certain areas that were of concern to members of the committee … the language before you, at least in terms of differentiated pay, is almost identical.” She said the IEA supported HB 323. “Changing the way school employees are paid is complex,” she said. If done well, it can drive achievement, she said, while “if done poorly, it can create dissension. … SB 1199 allows for that local decision-making.”

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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