As the House Education Committee launched a critical hearing on the latest career ladder plan, Gov. Butch Otter, House Speaker Scott Bedke and Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill threw their support behind the bill.
The three Republicans issued a joint news statement Friday, which came out through Otter’s office. Here’s the text:
“Introduction of a career ladder bill to increase teacher compensation brings Idaho one step closer to establishing a system that attracts the best and brightest to the teaching profession and rewards them for a job well done. The bill being considered by the Legislature is a multi-prong approach to provide teachers with opportunities to grow and improve in their profession while receiving significantly increased compensation for effective instruction.
“’We know that the teacher in the classroom is the most important factor in ensuring student success,’ Gov. Otter said. ‘This plan will help our schools recruit, develop and retain great teachers.’
“Last year, the Legislature implemented leadership premiums as part of the career ladder recommended by the Governor’s Task Force for Improving Education. This year’s legislation continues implementation of the career ladder by beginning to shift from the existing salary model – based on years of service and education attainment – to a structure that recognizes service and advanced education but also focuses on effective instruction and student outcomes.
“’Legislators recognize the need to invest in our education system,” President Pro Tem Hill said. ‘Education is a top priority and we are committed to funding the proposed career ladder.’
Speaker Bedke agreed.
“’We have heard the concerns about whether the state could fund this model over the next five years. Implementing the career ladder is a long-term commitment we must make to improve our education system.’
“House Bill 296 has the support of the Idaho Education Association, the Idaho Association of School Administrators and the Idaho School Boards Association. A full hearing on the bill was being held Friday at the Capitol.”