Prop 1: Idaho's 'forgotten' Students Come First law

Of the three Students Come First laws, Proposition 1 doesn’t have much sizzle.

It’s not as juicy as Prop 2, the teacher merit pay law, or Prop 3, the law to equip high school students with portable devices. Prop 1 deals with the likes of “evergreen clauses,” longstanding language in teacher union contracts.

“Proposition 1 is the one that most directly affects school board members and we feel like it’s the one getting the least attention,” Karen Echeverria, executive director of the Idaho School Boards Association, told the Idaho Press-Tribune this week. “It’s important for board members to educate the public on Proposition 1.”

So this week, Echeverria’s group came out in support of keeping Prop 1 on the books, while taking no position on the other two referenda that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. And the Boise School Board followed, quickly, with a condemnation of all three laws, including Prop 1.

Prop 3 makes for great video — as seen in the opposition TV ads depicting an accident-prone kid spilling soda on a school-issued laptop. But for the school boards, and for the teachers’ union, Prop 1 is a big deal.

To understand why, let’s refocus on the “evergreen clause.”

In the past, school boards and local unions could cut longstanding contract deals that could cover, for example, payments for a teacher who goes back to college. Once part of a collective bargaining agreement, these clauses were rolled into future contracts. “Current school boards were trapped with terms that had been bargained by boards existing 15 to 30 years ago, in a different era, and with different economic realities,” the ISBA said in a memo explaining its support of Prop 1.

Under Prop 1, any agreements are limited to one year in duration — and contract negotiations can cover only salary and benefits.

For the Idaho Education Association, the outcome of Prop 1 may not be do or die — but it’s close. This law jeopardizes existing agreements and the union’s bargaining leverage in the future. If you’re wondering why teachers’ unions are, overwhelmingly, the main contributors to the campaign opposing Students Come First, this is a pretty good indication.

What is notable is the public difference of opinion between the Boise board and the state’s school board association. The ISBA argues that Prop 1 puts local school boards back in charge of their bargaining process. The Boise board sees Prop 1 as a top-down infringement on the local bargaining process.

Basically, both sides value local control, but have very different visions of what it looks like.

The final few weeks of the campaign are unlikely to clear up the picture.

Politically speaking, the opposition is better off focusing their ads on laptops — and depicting Students Come First as a costly boondoggle. Painting the laws as an affront to collective bargaining is a non-starter in conservative Idaho.

Likewise, I’m not sure the defenders of Students Come First will take their argument much beyond boilerplate union-bashing. If there’s a substantive case that local “evergreen clauses” have bestowed lavish perks upon Idaho teachers, I’ve not heard it yet.

All of this may make Prop 1 the education overhaul law nobody talks about.

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How about more examples KR?

For real fun, lets see a school district contract for teachers. Boise, Meridian? and even compare to a smaller district.

If the unions want to support the union contract, they ought to be able and willing to show everyone the details.

Just Ask nimrod

What the schools spend their money on, master contracts and all the rest are a matter of public record and sometimes ALL of it is available on a districts website.

Apparently you forgot what your teachers taught, look it up, find the answer.

Stop whining about how teachers unions hurt you and learn something, you sense of entitlement is boring.


Yeah, I learned that in kindergarten.

I'm asking for KR to spell out examples of HIS post. Instead of just writing districts are stuck with things agreed upon 30 years ago... how about an EXAMPLE.

See, BSFan I learned to make a statement and then follow it with examples. That works better than just a bunch of liberal drool.
Your last sentence is ridiculous. Do you want examples?

Those "unions" are too powerful

That's why new teachers don't get raises for their first 5 years. The IEA is not a union, and the Luna Laws are NOT reform.

The IEA is a union

and dang proud of it to.
No one else has fought for jobs in this state, tried to defend what is in their purvue. As a result many of you got laid off without so much as an "Excuse me?". But, hey. "My car got vandalized and his didn't, so I ran over and smashed in the grill so he'd feel like me."
Sound stupid? Let's make it more realistic.
"I lost my job and they have the gall to be organized to protect basic rights." (We have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, why is it that we all have to be miserable?)

Teachers are no longer, by law, allowed any input whatsoever on;
curriculum, teaching materials, appropriate and supported use of technology, the length of a school day, the safety of students, and all the rest that go into a school.
Teaching used to be a grand profession, the greatest gift is knowledge and it is shared with passion.
Now, it's attacked for the sake of make someone else feel better about their situation and the profits of online providers. Dell and Microsoft are throwing parties, Apple is gleefully grinning, K12 is planning their international expansions.

Well done, well played REFORMERS. Get used to asking your kids, "How was your day in front of the computer dear?"

I think the taxpayers problem with teachers is

they get a full years salary and benifits for half a years work. 180 days required.

where can you find me a teacher who only works 180 days?

Teachers I know work nights, weekends, summer clas*ses, and second jobs.

Incidentally, by saying 180 days is only "half a year," you seem to be ignoring the weekend -- which unions got for workers.

185 - vacation /sick/personal = less than 180?

From the BSD Website
"For the 2012-2013 school year the District will:
1. Fund the following salary schedule that reflects a 185 day contract year."

When you run a business the weekend is 2 work days,

in the real world that is.

That's a better deal than we get with Congress...

even when they work they ain't workin' so well for us.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart