Elections, Campaign Disclosure and Lobbyists

Ben Ysursa, Secretary of State

Arguments For and Against

Proposition 1

Referendum to approve or reject legislation limiting negotiated agreements between teachers and local school boards and ending the practice of issuing renewable contracts.

Referendum to approve or reject S1108; relating to education: revising Idaho Code by amending 33-513, 33-514, 33-514A, 33-515, 33-515A, 33-516, 33-521, 33-522, 33-1003, 33-1004H, 33-1271, 33-1272, 33-1273, 33-1274, 33-1275, 33-1276 and 33-402; repealing 33-1004G; and, by adding new sections 33-515B, 33-523, 33-524, 33-1271A, 33-1273A and 33-1274A to revise the annual written evaluation process for professional staff; phase out renewable individual contracts; provide that professional staff employed after January 31, 2011 shall not be entitled to a formal review of decisions for not being reemployed; allow school boards to change the length of terms stated in current contracts and reduce the salaries of certificated staff with renewable contracts without due process proceedings; require school districts to disclose to employees a list of professional liability insurance providers; eliminate education support program for school districts experiencing enrollment decreases greater than one percent; eliminate teacher early retirement incentives; restrict the scope of negotiated agreements between school boards and professional staff to compensation and the duration of negotiated agreements to one year; and eliminate provisions for fact finding in professional negotiations.

Shall the legislation limiting negotiated agreements between teachers and local school boards and ending the practice of issuing renewable contracts be approved?

Argument IN FAVOR of Proposition One

Voting yes means supporting legislation passed in 2011 by Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter and the Idaho Legislature.

This law returns local control and authority to locally elected school boards, parents, and patrons so they can make the best possible decisions for students in their communities. It also eliminates ineffective or inefficient practices in Idaho's K-12 education system and ensures that any cost savings from these programs is put into the classroom, where it is needed most.

Here are the key elements of this law:

  • Ensures all contract negotiations between the local district and teachers' union must happen in open, public meetings so parents and patrons from the local community can observe.
  • Focuses the annual contract the district negotiates with the teacher's union to two items — salaries and benefits. Before, these legally binding agreements could include other policies such as bell schedules, school calendar, grading policies, disciplinary actions, or even student-teacher contact time. Now, these policies are set by the locally elected school board so that other teachers, parents, and patrons can provide input and participate in the process.
  • Provides parents the opportunity to give input on teacher and principal job performance evaluations each year.
  • Ties at least 50 percent of teacher and administrator evaluations to how students are performing academically. These academic measures are set at the local level by the local school board.
  • Repeals a program that paid retirement bonuses to teachers, saving $4 million a year that is put into the classroom for teacher pay, technology, and other critical programs.
  • Repeals a program that double-funded the same student in multiple school districts, saving about $6 million a year that is put into the classroom for teacher pay, technology, and other critical programs.
  • Phases out lifetime contracts (tenure) for teachers. New teachers in Idaho will now work under one-year or two- year contracts, similar to those of principals.
  • Eliminates the archaic practice of districts firing the last teacher hired — even if that teacher was the best teacher in the district — if reductions-in-force become necessary due to declining enrollment. Instead, personnel decisions must now be based on performance or other factors, rather than seniority alone.

School leaders and parents across Idaho are already seeing great benefits from the result of the changes in these laws. District negotiations are now going more smoothly than ever, and teachers are finding new and exciting ways to engage 21st century learners with advanced technology in the classroom. Through Students Come First, the state has reformed the public education system to focus on the student and make sure we not only look for new sources of revenue for education but spend the money we currently have differently and in the best interest of our children.

Yes For Idaho Education

Rebuttal to Argument IN FAVOR of Proposition One

Contrary to what proponents say, Proposition 1 is a top-down mandate that restricts local school boards, parents, and teachers from deciding what and how we teach our kids.

Teachers are in our children's classrooms every day. They're more than just educators-they're our children's advocates and mentors. They know what our kids need to learn and succeed in a safe environment. Proposition 1 makes it impossible for them to discuss these important issues as part of their contracts.

When debating against Proposition 1, Twin Falls Republican Rep. Leon Smith said, "I've read this bill through from the first page to the last page. And as I went through the bill, it became more and more apparent to me that this is a very mean-spirited bill. It goes beyond bashing unions. It bashes teachers, and that to me is not a good direction to go. It turns teachers into powerless pawns of the political system."

State Superintendent Tom Luna decided he doesn't want to listen to the people who know best: teachers and parents. He wrote these laws to silence the voices of teachers on issues like classroom overcrowding, safety, funding for up-to-date textbooks, and classroom supplies.

Tell Superintendent Luna that making it illegal for teachers to discuss funding for the basics that help our students succeed is bad for our kids, bad for our schools and bad for Idaho.

Vote No on Proposition 1.

Vote NO on Propositions 1, 2, and 3

Argument AGAINST Proposition One

Proposition 1: disrespectful to teachers and harmful to students

Proposition 1 restricts the voice and limits the rights of Idaho's teachers. It is one of three harmful education laws pushed through the legislature in 2011 by State Supt. Tom Luna. This complicated, top-down mandate puts Idaho's students last. In the year since Proposition 1 took effect, class sizes have gone up, and the State Department of Education reported nearly twice as many Idaho teachers left the profession as in previous years.*

Idaho's teachers didn't choose a teaching career to get rich - they chose it because they are about our kids. They're some of the lowest paid professionals in the state and many have a second job just to make ends meet. Yet because the politicians in the state legislature have cut funding so deeply, our teachers typically spend hundreds of dollars a year out of their own pockets just to provide the basics in their overcrowded classrooms - paper, pencils, books and even Kleenex. Our teachers are committed to their students and schools, and they are advocates for Idaho's future.

Proposition 1 prevents teachers from negotiating with their school administrators about anything except for wages and benefits. It makes it illegal for teachers to negotiate class-size limits, student safety protections, lesson-planning time, and funding for basic classroom supplies.

Propostion 1 takes away teachers' voices. But we need to hear what teachers have to say. They're in our children's classrooms every day; they know what our kids need to stay safe and succeed. Yet this law makes it impossible for them to even discuss these issues as part of their negotiations with schools districts. Not only is this unfair, it's disrespectful.

In an unprecedented outpouring of opposition, many hundreds of Idahoans wrote, called and spoke in person to lawmakers against Supt. Luna's controversial package of harmful laws. And when they passed, tens of thousands of Idahoans signed petitions in the bi-partisan effort overturn all three bills.

Voting NO on Proposition 1 is the first step in rejecting the Luna laws. They are bad for children, bad for teachers and bad for Idaho.

*Associated Press report, February 15, 2012

Vote NO on Propositions 1, 2, and 3

Rebuttal to Argument AGAINST Proposition One

A YES vote means we return local control and authority to locally elected leaders and parents in their school districts.

A NO vote means a return to union control.

Yes for Idaho Education

In Favor Of

Yes for Idaho Education
Wendy Horman, Co-Chairman
Millford Terrell, Co-Chairman
PO Box 1697
Boise ID 83709
(208) 385-7070


Vote NO on Propositions 1, 2, and 3
Mike Lanza, Chairman
Maria Greeley, Treasurer
PO Box 163
Boise ID 83701
(208) 955-8202
[email protected]


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