Idaho Education Association

IDAHO EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
IEA-PACE

2010 LEGISLATIVE
CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE



1. The IEA supports legislation to provide state funding to reduce the number of students in grades K - 6 classrooms to no more than 20 students per teacher and students in middle school/junior high and high school to no more than 160 students per teacher per day.

Strongly Disagree

The state should not cap student-teacher ratios. School administrators should be responsible for providing the best possible learning environment.

2. The IEA believes the common core standards movement provides opportunities for Idaho’s students to compete nationally and internationally. To ensure successful implementation and assessment of the common core standards, the IEA supports state funding to ensure all students have the opportunity to be successful. Specifically, the IEA support state funding to a.) assist local school districts with the necessary professional development of staff, b.) assist local school districts in providing for the remediation of students that have not met the standards, and c.) ensure the required tests used to measure the standards are evaluated for validity and reliability and proper alignment with the standards.

Strongly Disagree

I do not agree with setting common core standards or administering standardized tests. Standards simply centralize control over the curriculum.

3. The IEA support legislative efforts to improve instruction. In that regard, the IEA supports reinstatement of and appropriate state funding for the Annual Contract Support Program in teacher contract law, including providing mentoring, peer assistance, and professional development for new teachers.

Strongly Disagree

School administrators should be responsible for setting employee policies, including hiring practices.

4. The IEA support state funding that will raise the beginning teacher salary in Idaho to $40,000 in order to assist Idaho school districts in the recruitment and retention of quality public school educators.

Strongly Disagree

School administrators should determine individual teacher salaries, subject to budget constraints.

5. The IEA supports state funding that will result in the Idaho teachers’ average salary being equal to the U.S. teachers’ average salary.

Strongly Disagree

Idaho’s cost of living is not equal to the national average, so it makes no sense to artificially tie teacher salaries to the national average.

6. The IEA supports continued state funding to recognize the accomplishments of educators who attain National Board Certification.

Strongly Disagree

I don’t think that taxpayer money should be used for recognition, especially for something as dubious as National Board Certification.

7. The IEA supports compensating Education Support Professionals to ensure these education employees make a living wage (the minimum hourly wage necessary for housing and incidentals such as clothing and other basic needs and nutrition for a person).

Strongly Disagree

I do not agree with minimum wage laws. Wages should not be controlled by the state; rather, they should reflect what the free market will bear.

8. The IEA opposes an alternative pay system that bypasses the collective bargaining process, is based solely on student performance or test scores, limits the number of employees who are eligible for the additional compensation, does not involve in its creation those who will be directly affected by the system, is not long-term and fully-funded, and diminishes the professional status of those education employees who do not receive the additional compensation.

Strongly Disagree

The state should not recognize nor negotiate with labor unions. Wages should be left to school administrators, subject to budget constraints.

9. The IEA opposes any legislation that would move the PERSI defined benefit pension plan (a pension plan under which an employee receives a set monthly amount upon retirement, guaranteed for their life) to a defined contribution plan (a retirement savings plan under which an employer promises certain contributions to a participant’s account during employment but with no guaranteed retirement benefit. The ultimate benefit is based exclusively on the contributions to and investment earnings of the plan. The benefit ceases when the account balance is depleted, regardless of the retiree’s age or circumstances.)

Strongly Disagree

A defined contribution plan would better protect the taxpayers; however, all public employee benefits should be terminated. Designated funds should be paid out and wages should be increased, allowing employees to seek benefit related services in the private sector.

10. The IEA supports legislation to provide Education Support Professionals (secretaries, custodians, bus drivers, food service staff, instructional aides, and maintenance workers) with a system of fair employment assurances, including:
• written evaluations
• guarantee of notice of rehire before year’s end
• provision of a probationary period prior to termination if work is deemed unsatisfactory
• provision of reasons for termination and
• an opportunity for ESP employees to provide information to their local school board prior to a final decision regarding termination.

Strongly Disagree

School administrators should determine employee policies.

11. The IEA supports the use of public funds exclusively for public schools. The IEA opposes tuition tax credits, vouchers, income tax credits, or other direct or indirect mechanisms to channel public funds to private, parochial, or home schools.

Disagree

Public funds should not be used for any type of education. All public schools should be immediately transitioned to the private sector, and all public funding for education should be eliminated.

12. The IEA opposes legislation that diminishes Idaho’s current statutory due process and just and reasonable cause provisions for renewable contract teachers.

Disagree

School administrators should be able to hire and fire as they see fit.

13. Where would you rank education funding in context to other state budgeting priorities? Please elaborate.

Priority should go to those functions of government that fulfill its proper role. All other programs and agencies should either (1) have their funds eliminated immediately, or (2) receive minimal operating funds until the transition to the private sector is complete. Public schools would fall into the second category.

14. As a legislator, what would be your top three (3) priorities for public schools in Idaho?

1) Repeal all laws regarding education, including amending the state constitution.
2) Transition all public schools to the private sector, including higher education.
3) Eliminate all public funding of education and the taxes that support it.