SB 806 does not call for the "reform" Sinquefield has been pushing, the total elimination of tenure for teachers. What it does is to double the the time it takes teachers to earn tenure, from five to 10 years, which would give the Show-Me State the dubious distinction of having the longest time for teachers to be on probation in the United States. Even at five years, it is already at the top of that list.
Missouri NEA issued another action alert Tuesday evening, warning its members that the vote on Sen. Jane Cunningham's bill, originally expected for Tuesday, will be held at some point this week:
The Senate did not take up SS/SCS/SB 806 (Jane Cunningham) on April 10, but the bill is expected to be brought up for final passage (Third Reading vote) by roll call this week, perhaps as soon as April 11. 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.
ACTION NEEDED: Your help is needed! IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY DONE SO, please call, write or e-mail to urge your state senator to oppose SS/SCS/SB 806. The following link will connect you to the MNEA Legislative Action Center Action Alert on SS/SCS/SB 806.
Type in your zip code and the alert will automatically be directed to your state senator. The Action Alert contains a brief summary and a brief, editable message box to help you send an email to your state senator on the issue.
YOUR MESSAGE WILL HAVE A GREATER IMPACT IF YOU PERSONALIZE THE MESSAGE AND ADD YOUR OWN CONCERNS REGARDING THE BILL.
The 10 years for tenure substitute came after the Senate had set Sen. Cunningham's language eliminating tenure aside and replaced it with a compromise from Education Commitee Chairman David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, which would have established a committee to study teacher pay. That motion passed the Senate by a 17-15 margin and appeared to have ended the effort to eliminate tenure on the Senate side until Sen. Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles County, offered the 10 years for tenure substitute, which passed on a voice vote.