I can not agree with your “Cheer” to Sally Toone on her proposal to provide $12,000 debt relief to new teachers who stay for four years in Idaho. As usual, this is a short-sighted slight to experienced teachers who have weathered the ups and downs of Idaho’s lack of priority placed on retaining teaching professionals. This plan is a gift/bribe for people who have not planned ahead financially to go to college, it is punitive to those that do. Why not just pull a minor or double major and rack up $12,000 debt? Then, let the taxpayers bear the burden.
To start with, we have many qualified teachers on an ABCTE certification track. These teachers must bear the burden of all additional classes, fees for praxis exams and licensing. Why wouldn’t Idaho offer relief for these costs? Why doesn’t Idaho offer reimbursement for class credits all teachers must take to maintain their licenses? This adds up to several hundred dollars over the course of 5 years.
Why not re-appropriate this money to ALL teachers for debt relief? Almost all teachers invest personal monies to enhance their students’ experience. This is not reimbursed by school districts. So why not just give it up on the front end?
In regards to the “New Teacher-$12,000” plan, a better incentive would be to target the forgotten middle, the current backbone of the education system.