SB 806, sponsored by Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, initially called for the total elimination of teacher tenure. That portion of the bill was removed and any attack on tenure dead after Education Committee Chairman Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, offered a proposal to establish a committee to study teacher pay, which passed by a 17-15 vote.
When SB 806 was called up again, Sen. Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles County, offered the proposal to double the time it takes teachers to receive tenure from five to 10 years. At five years, Missouri already has the toughest tenure to attain in the U. S..
The following passage come from the MNEA Action Alert issued today:
Sen. Jane Cunningham placed SS/SCS/SB 806 on the Informal Calendar when the bill was called on April 12 and the Senate did not debate or take a final (Third Reading) vote on the bill. A final vote on the bill early next week still appears likely. The SS eliminates qualification and experience as factors in decisions regarding reduction in force and changes the probationary period for teachers from five to ten years.
Senators are being pressured to vote for this harmful bill by holding other positive bills with broad support hostage to the passage of this harmful attack on Missouri's teachers.
The Association strongly opposes the bill. SB 806 does nothing to help students or teachers. The bill just undermines a fair dismissal procedure that is working and leaves more teachers subject to arbitrary termination.
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.
Instead of damaging or repealing tenure, Missouri NEA supports a requirement that districts establish a strong and effective evaluation system, as contained in SB 654, filed by Sen. Brad Lager.