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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

How to recruit, retain teachers…

Jana Jones and Sherri Ybarra debate on Friday (Betsy Russell)
Jana Jones and Sherri Ybarra debate on Friday (Betsy Russell)

Asked about how Idaho could better recruit and retain teachers, Democrat Jana Jones told the City Club of Boise that she saw districts starting school this year with vacant teaching positions, having to fill in with student teachers or long-term substitutes. An Idaho teacher, she said, “can drive over the Teton Pass and get a $20,000 raise immediately, just walking in the door. We are not competitive.”

Republican Sherri Ybarra said teachers across the state “all say the same thing to me – the money is nice, and of course … if elected I will do everything I can.” But, she said, they say, “The money’s nice – I want to be respected for the work that I do. So tiered licensure is a step in the right direction. I think we need to make sure that the message that we send, though, is that we offer a supportive working environment, lots of training, and welcome to Idaho to join our vibrant team of professionals.”

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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