One of the Idaho Legislature's most anticipated proposals to boost teacher pay has finally been revealed just little more than a week before lawmakers begin setting the state's public education budget, the AP reports. The Idaho House Education Committee listened to the pitch Friday but did not vote on any legislation. "I don't want to know if you love it or hate it," Chairman Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, told the committee. "We are not here to debate. We are here to learn and ask questions."
The goal is to stop the exodus of Idaho's teachers seeking better wages in other states by steadily increasing pay during the next five years. Lawmakers have scrambled over the past weeks to hash out a plan —which comes with a nearly $30 million price tag just for the first year— that will pass Idaho's fiscally conservative Republican Statehouse while also satisfying groups like the state's teacher union.
Under the 33-page draft bill presented Friday, beginning teachers would be paid $32,200 per year, or just 1.4 percent more than the current minimum teacher salary of $31,750. Beginning teacher pay would steadily increase over five years, with the goal to pay brand-new teachers $37,000 by fiscal year 2020. AP reporter Kimberlee Kruesi has a full report here.