Boise – The Idaho Freedom Foundation gave twelve As – and 34 Fs – to Idaho’s school districts its latest report, “Clear Grades: Ranking the Transparency of Idaho’s School District-Teacher Union Master Agreements.”
Master agreements, which are contracts between school district boards of trustees and local teachers’ unions, stipulate teacher salaries and benefits, the number of work days, grievance procedures, performance evaluations, different types of leave and more. They control much of the way Idaho’s public money is spent.
“Clear Grades” ranks the transparency, or availability and ease-of-viewing, of all of Idaho’s school district master agreements. Districts are ranked by letter grade from highest to lowest according to the following criteria:
• An electronic copy is posted online – A+ or A
• A telephone request yielded an electronic copy – B
• A telephone request yielded a paper copy – C
• A written request was required for either an electronic or paper copy – D
• Request was ignored – F
“Because the largest cost for any organization is labor and most of the labor costs for a school district are outlined in the master agreement, it is critical that the agreement be readily accessible to the public,” said Idaho Freedom Foundation Executive Director Wayne Hoffman. "In too many cases, we found it difficult if not impossible to get a copy of a public record, and that is very disappointing."
The research, which was conducted from September to November 2010, is at the Idaho Freedom Foundation website.
The Idaho Freedom Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational and research organization that develops and advocates the principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility, private property rights, economic freedom, and limited government. The Foundation’s mission is to keep Idaho free by generating research and data on key issues, and recommending the findings to opinion leaders, policymakers, media and the citizens of Idaho.
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