Idaho substitute teachers will have to pass a drug test if a new House bill becomes law. The bill passed narrowly by one vote in the House Education Committee. Surprisingly school officials at the county and state level spoke out against this proposal.

Representatives from West Ada and the Idaho School boards were not in favor of the pre-employment drug screening tests, reports the Idaho Press.  State representatives expressed their concern for schools across the state. They want to ensure that schools engage in a proper process to determine who is safe and qualified to substitute teach.  

The school representatives told the committee that they have their screening process and keep local control. Due to Covid sicknesses, we've seen locally that school districts have upped the pay for substitutes in hopes of enticing more folks. The good news for all sides in this debate is that schools have stayed open. Last year, several school districts had to close and move to remote learning because of Covid safety concerns.  

This year, the legislature and the governor have passed legislation to merge the teacher's heath policies with state employees. The governor continues to vow to boost teacher pay in Idaho. The state ranks as one of the worst places in the country for teacher pay.  

The bill will now move to the entire House floor for a vote. If the bill passes the House, it will go to the Senate to debate the merits of drug tests for Idaho substitute teachers.  

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