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Bill for teacher leadership premiums moves forward

Bill for teacher leadership premiums moves forward

BOISE, Idaho - Idaho lawmakers are one step closer to giving teachers more money. On Tuesday, the House Education Committee passed a bill that would spend $15.9 million on teacher premiums.

"We have changed from 'leadership awards,' which is what the task force called them, to 'leadership premiums' because we want educators to know this is above and beyond, this is a premium," said District 31 Rep. Julie VanOrden. She co-wrote the bill with fellow Republican District 24 Rep. Lance Clow.

"It won't go to every teacher. It will be awarded to teachers who are doing those extra things. There is a list in the bill of minimum things the district can choose from, or they can set up parameters of things that they want to give these awards for, these premiums," said VanOrden.

It's the first step towards a career ladder for teachers, which was a recommendation from Governor Otter's Task Force for Education.

Madison School District Superintendent Geoffrey Thomas sat on the task force. He came up with a plan for teacher pay, but he says this is far from his original thought.

"Money is not a motivator. Money is a job satisfier. I could offer my teachers $20,000 a year more and say, 'Work harder.' Well, they are already here at 7:30 in the morning and stay until 6 p.m. at night. I don't think they can work harder," said Thomas.

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