Idaho taxpayers will be required to financially support the Boise Education Association, a teachers union with ties to many left-wing political lobbyists and contributors, unless a lawsuit by the Idaho Freedom Foundation is successful.
"Every dollar that taxpayers are asked to put into public schools ought to go to public schools, not into feeding the union machine," said IFF President Wayne Hoffman.
A contract between the Boise Independent School District and the BEA allows for a district employee to take a tax-funded paid leave of absence to serve as union president.
Through the district, taxpayers will reimburse the union for the cost of salary and benefits for a first-year teacher.
During the leave, the employee will continue the same professional status. "All rights of renewable contract status, retirement, accrued sick leave, salary schedule placement, and other benefits...shall be preserved and available...in the event he/she chooses to return to the District," according to the contract.
The union president will be guaranteed job placement at the same school and same teaching field, if possible, after he or she is finished serving as president.
In addition, official union delegates are given two days of paid leave to attend union events.
The Idaho Freedom Foundation has launched a lawsuit against BISD, the school board and BEA. According to the complaint, these sections of the contract violate the state's constitution, which prohibits school boards and districts from giving or lending money to private associations. The argument is based on Article 8, Section 4 and Article 12, Section 4 in the state's constitution.