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Eye On Boise

IEA chief: ‘This is the Luna Laws all over again’

Idaho Education Association President Penni Cyr is disputing Idaho School Boards Association chief Karen Echeverria’s assertion that the IEA only had problems with two portions of Proposition 1, regarding continuing contract rights and limiting teacher negotiations to just salary and benefits. “Frankly, everything in Proposition 1 is of concern to IEA and our members,” Cyr said. “It’s not just the IEA that had problems with Proposition 1. It was all of the voters who voted almost 58 percent to repeal that law.”

The measure, repealed by voters in November, sought to roll back Idaho teachers’ collective bargaining rights. Cyr, who said her group wasn’t “asked to the table” to discuss the ISBA’s new bills, said, “It’s very baffling that the Idaho School Boards Association didn’t hear the voters, and Ms. Echeverria’s comments are contrary to what the public said. This is the same thing, déjà vu. This is the Luna Laws all over again.”

Asked about the bill the ISBA proposed to repeal a longstanding Idaho law giving experienced teachers with continuing contract rights the right to renew their contracts at at least the same salary the next year, Cyr said, “It seems to negate the continuing contract law. It’s very clearly giving carte blanche to school boards to decide what salary to pay teachers, from any given year, how long their contracts are, etc. And that is what a continuing contract is about.” She said, “There’s all these back-room deals going on again, like happened before. We think legislators need to listen to the public, listen to the people who voted, and take heed.”

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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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