Prop 1 failure would affect Idaho's No Child Left Behind waiver

Print
Email
|

by Scott Evans

NWCN.com

Posted on November 2, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 11 at 11:27 PM

BOISE – A portion of Proposition 1 could potentially affect the No Child Left Behind waiver the state received in mid-October.

The part of Proposition 1 that helped Idaho get the No Child Left Behind waiver ties teacher and administer evaluations to student achievement. If Prop 1 fails, educators and lawmakers are going to want to get that portion of the law back.

"It is very significant for the State of Idaho to have a waiver," said Melissa McGrath with the Idaho Department of Education.

For over a decade, educators in Idaho have tried to get a waiver to No Child Left Behind. That waiver allows states to measure progress in its own way, rather than in a way decided by the federal government.

"To apply for a waiver states had to meet certain criteria,” said McGrath. “One of those is having teacher and administrator evaluations that were tied to student achievement.”

Those evaluations are tied to Proposition 1. Come Tuesday there's a chance that proposition could be voted down.

"At that point, our waiver is technically at risk. It would not go away overnight by any means, but we would have to go back and work with the federal government, let them know that's no longer in our state law and we have to work to get it back into our state law," said McGrath.

If Idaho wants to keep the waiver, lawmakers will need to readdress this issue. And that goes for Propositions 2 and 3 as well if they fail. Senator Chuck Winder, who is on the Senate Education Committee, realizes some or all of the propositions could fail.

"If they do get turned down, you know what do you do with the technology money? How do you deal with negotiating, we were trying to give more rights back to the school boards and things like that. So how do you deal with all those things?" said Winder.

Winder says there are no backup plans being brought to the public right now, but the issue of education reform will be a major issue once again in the legislature if voters don't like these laws.

"If the people speak and say we don't want these, we think they're bad for our students, then we're going to have to deal with that. That will be part of the reality of it. That's one of the great things, I think, about our system," said Winder.

That includes keeping the good and tossing the bad portion of each of the three laws.

"If we get back into those issues again, it could be a real interesting session," said Winder.

So, if any or all of these propositions fail, lawmakers will once again take up the issue of education reform. Not only is this issue important by itself, but it makes your vote that much more important on who you elect on Tuesday to go to the legislature.

Print
Email
|