Archive for Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kansas school boards cautioned about using new powers to hire, fire teachers

April 22, 2014


Education news
Have a story idea?
Contact Journal-World education reporter Elliot Hughes:

The Kansas Association of School Boards is urging local boards of education to use caution before taking advantage of new powers granted to them under a school finance bill that Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law Monday.

That bill, which directs more state funding to poor school districts to address equity concerns raised by the Kansas Supreme Court, also includes several policy changes affecting school districts such as repealing tenure rights of veteran teachers and relaxing the licensing requirements for teachers in certain subject areas.

Mark Tallman, KASB's associate executive director for advocacy, said districts should be careful before changing their practices in either of those areas.

In a statement posted on KASB's website Tuesday, Tallman said the repeal of teacher tenure means teachers can be removed, "without the lengthy and expensive hearing officer system now required."

"However, KASB recommends caution in making any changes to current hiring and termination practices at this time," Tallman wrote. "For example, districts could negotiate a local due process system with their teachers."

He also said there may be "unresolved legal issues about how courts would treat teachers who have already received due process rights."

Currently, public school teachers and instructors at state community colleges and technical schools who have been on the job more than three years are entitled to an administrative due process hearing with an impartial hearing officer before they can be summarily dismissed or not renewed for the following year. The bill signed into law this week repeals that right for public school teachers.

The Lawrence school board is currently in negotiation with its teachers union on a new contract for the 2014-2015 school year. And while the board has not yet decided how it will respond to the tenure repeal, board president Rick Ingram said Monday that he believes most board members support the protections that tenure rights had offered.

KASB has long supported changes in the tenure procedure so that hearings could be conducted before school boards, rather than an independent third party.

"We support a system that is fair to employees, students, school boards and the community," Tallman said. "Boards of education should take the time to make sure these interests are appropriately balanced."

The new law also relaxes licensing requirements for career and technical education teachers as well as teachers in the so-called STEM subjects - science, technology, engineering and math. The changes allow districts to hire teachers in those areas, even if they don't have an education degree or specific training in the field of teaching.

Schools may contract with individuals to be career and technical ed instructors if they hold industry-recognized certificates and have five years of related work experience. To teach in a STEM field, individuals now only need a bachelor's degree in the related field and five years of related work experience.

Districts may also hire teachers with a valid license from another state, even if that state's licensing requirements are less stringent than those in Kansas, as long as that teacher passes the state's required tests for those fields.

School boards had lobbied for that change, arguing it will help them recruit teachers in certain hard-to-fill subject areas.

“It will be up to local boards to ensure such individuals are appropriately recruited and evaluated for effectiveness,” Tallman said. “Again, KASB recommends caution and suggests districts consult with teacher licensure experts from the Kansas State Department of Education on this matter.”


Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

When the majority of the legislature fails to challenge a governor when the governor is working behind closed closed doors then the majority must go.

The governor was not elected to dictate and force the closing of public schools or any other activity based on a personal right wing fascist viewpoint. A legislature blindly following a governor presents quite a dangerous situation. This is what killed the GOP.

"The United States of ALEC," a special report by legendary journalist Bill Moyers on how the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council has helped corporate America propose and even draft legislation for states across the country.

ALEC brings together major U.S. corporations and right-wing legislators to craft and vote on "model" bills behind closed doors. It has come under increasing scrutiny for its role in promoting voter suppression bills, union-busting policies and other controversial legislation.

Although billing itself as a "nonpartisan public-private partnership," ALEC is actually a national network of state politicians and powerful corporations principally concerned with increasing corporate profits without public scrutiny.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

Good Salaries for Teachers !!!!! YES YES

Teacher wages are usually a forgotten subject in Kansas conversation. Better wages for teachers bring more tax dollars home to respective communities! We’re talking local economic growth.

Why shouldn't teachers receive somewhat substantial salaries:

  • for the years they spent in college

  • for the long teaching days,

  • for the time spent reviewing homework at home

  • for the long hours grading exams at home

  • for the time and money spent upgrading their credentials annually

  • for the commitment to teaching the children in the communities

  • for putting up with the abuse coming out of Topeka,Kansas.

  • for the time spent dealing with children who refuse to do homework

From an LJW 2003 poll Teacher Salary Support:

Would you favor a sales tax increase to provide more money for Lawrence teacher salaries?

Of 5,198 votes increasing teacher salaries 4,204 votes in favor of increased teacher salaries. 80% of 5198 votes said yes to a sales tax increase to support teaching salaries.

Julius Nolan 4 years, 2 months ago

Richard, you may have some good points with your posts. However, I've reached the point that I ignore every post you make, because they all seem to be composed of the same cut and past crap that are in all of your posts. You repeat the same things over and over, till it is meaningless. This is last response I will make to anything you say. Enough is enough.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

A new reader may drop in who deserves this information. There are far more readers than posters……

I'm sure you've repeated yourself a few times as well cuz the topics are much the same day and day out.

Amy Varoli Elliott 4 years, 2 months ago

You spam every artical there is and add very little new information just a ton of links. I am sure you have a lot of real information to add but ou are delivering it very poorly.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 years, 2 months ago

He is at least giving links to what he says. Many people on here just repeat what they get in emails, or what they hear from Rush or Beck, and can give no evidence of "facts" they present or why they have formed the opinion they have. They just mimic what their leaders tell them. Richard does a lot of reading, and is trying to encourage us to go beyond just sound clips. And I don't always agree 100% with Richard. Many other posters on here are quite predictable.
Richard, thank you for the links. I have followed and used several of them. You must be or have been a teacher.

Mike Edson 4 years, 2 months ago

I don't think it is going to be that bad.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

If you were the one receiving a pink slip it not might be that good.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.