Parental rights, evaluation bills likely dead

Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde says he isn’t planning hearings on a “parental rights” bill and a controversial teacher evaluation bill.

Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene

Since both House-passed bills have been assigned to Goedde’s committee, that all but assures that they are dead for the 2014 session.

House Bill 567, the parental rights bill, asserts that parents have “a right, responsibility and obligation to participate” in their kids’ education. Sponsored by Rep. Janet Trujillo, R-Idaho Falls, the bill passed the House last week on a 64-5 vote. And it would appear to have support within Goedde’s nine-member committee. Five Republican committee members are listed as co-sponsors: Vice Chairman Dean Mortimer of Idaho Falls; Steven Thayn of Emmett; Bob Nonini of Coeur d’Alene; Monty Pearce of New Plymouth; and Russ Fulcher.

However, the bill has drawn a lukewarm reaction from education stakeholders, and the Idaho School Boards Association has said the bill would have no impact.

Meridian Republican Rep. Steven Harris’ House Bill 556 would revamp the evaluation process, to incorporate student growth and student and parental input into the equation. The bill passed the House Friday on a 35-31 vote — over the objections of ISBA, the Idaho Association of School Administrators and the Idaho Education Association. They have said the language runs counter to the local control espoused by Gov. Butch Otter’s education reform task force.

Goedde was one of the task force’s 31 members.

Goedde also says he isn’t planning to consider House Bill 379, Idaho Falls Republican Rep. Linden Bateman’s bill to create legislative awards for outstanding teachers. This also narrowly passed the House, but has been held in Senate Education for more than a month.

Another House-passed bill still has life: one to allow rural schools to hire the spouses of trustees. House Bill 568 will receive a hearing Thursday, said Goedde. But no committee agenda has been posted for Thursday.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday