People across this great state celebrated Idaho Day on Thursday. 158 years ago, Idaho was established as a Territory of the United States. Idaho Day was created by the 2014 Legislature to remind Idahoans of the rich history, cultural diversity, unique beauty, and boundless resources their incredible state has to offer. The House Republican Caucus works constantly to protect and honor those aspects of our home.
Easing the Teacher Shortage
Idaho has a teacher shortage and the problem is growing, particularly for small and rural schools, but Caucus Members are helping. House Bill 221 passed the House of Representatives on Thursday and is sponsored by Representatives Charlie Shepherd, Ryan Kerby, and Dorothy Moon. It would allow school districts and public charter schools to create local teaching certificates, which will broaden the pool of applicants and empower local schools to select the candidate that best meets their unique needs. Eligible teachers must meet certain educational or professional requirements and the school must agree to provide mentoring and professional development.
“This bill is about putting the most qualified candidate possible in the classrooms, in front of the kids,” said Rep. Kerby, a retired school district superintendent. “Right now, if you’re in a remote, little school somewhere, you’ll get zero to two qualified applicants.”
We are working to eliminate bureaucracy and unnecessary reports in K-12 education. House Bill 222, sponsored by Rep. Ryan Kerby, would drive effectiveness in the aspects of schools that Idaho’s citizens are primarily interested in, and that is: “are more kids learning to read, are they getting better at math, are more industry certificates being earned in CTE programs, and so on.” Additionally, this legislation sets up infrastructure so that the legislature, along with the Governor’s office, the state education agencies, and stakeholder groups can consider ways to incentivize, encourage, and recognize high performing teachers and schools. This is in an effort to encourage more schools to use practices that are highly successful here in Idaho.
Real World Education
Your House Republican Caucus is allowing for students to get credit for real-world education and allowing for more local control over school curriculum. Representative Wendy Horman and Representative Gayann DeMordaunt are co-sponsoring House Bill 172, which overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday. The bill would provide certainty for students and parents that work done outside of traditional classrooms would earn credit. Examples of credit-worthy activities could include organized sports, music lessons, internships, trade apprenticeships, or military service. Also, starting in the 2022-23 school year, high school students will have an avenue to get credit for prior knowledge.
Local school boards will determine how they will implement these policies. The legislation now heads to the Senate for its consideration.
Balancing Government Powers
A bill from Representative Brandon Mitchell passed the Senate this week. House Bill 74 continues the mission of the House Republican Caucus to appropriately balance government powers. This commonsense legislation would limit the application of health ordinances to city limits. The bill will next head to the Governor’s desk for his potential approval.
You can learn more about all the legislation being debated by our Caucus members. Just check the House Reading Calendar found at the link below: