Senate Education Committee Chairman Scott Dieckhaus, R-Washington, (pictured) is planning to ram the bill he sponsored, SB 628, which totally eliminates teacher tenure through the full Senate next week.
The bill would replace tenure with contracts of one, two, or three years and allow school districts to fire teachers with little or no reason at all.
Missouri NEA issued an action alert to its members today:
The Missouri House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee is considering a bill, HB 628 (Scott Dieckhaus), that would eliminate teacher tenure and place all new and existing teachers on one to three year contracts, at the school district's discretion. Teachers would still have a right to a hearing before the board if the district seeks to terminate the contract early, but teachers would have no expectation or right to renewal once the one to three-year contract has expired and could be non-renewed for any reason or no reason at all.
Committee chair Scott Dieckhaus intends to distribute a new version of the bill to the committee next week and vote on the bill before the legislature leaves on Spring Break on Thursday, March 17. Extensive discussion with Rep. Dieckhaus indicates that any new draft of the bill is still likely to repeal tenure and leave all teachers with contracts of at most a few years and no expectation or right to renewal once the contract expires.
The Association strongly opposes the bill. This attack is just more of the same old politics. Teachers need an effective voice in their schools. Teacher tenure is just a process to address issues of concern and ensure teachers are not fired arbitrarily. Where districts face challenges with under-performing teachers, the real issue to address is establishing a quality evaluation system that provides teachers with feedback and support in improving performance and addressing concerns.