Archive for Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Kansas House votes to restore guaranteed teacher tenure

February 22, 2017


— The Kansas House has given final approval to a bill restoring guaranteed teacher tenure. The bill now goes to the Senate.

The body passed the bill Wednesday with a 72 to 53 vote. It originally dealt with arbitration but was amended Tuesday to include the tenure measure so that a separate tenure bill wouldn't die in committee. The Education Committee Chairman had refused to hold a vote on the tenure bill, and an upcoming deadline for bills to pass their chamber of origin could have killed it.

Supporters argued that the bill guaranteed due process for teachers who are fired. Opponents urged their fellow lawmakers to give local boards and districts control of tenure decisions.

Lawmakers voted to remove guaranteed tenure as part of a broader bill in 2014.


Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

more good news from Topeka at least for the moment ........

Jeff Plinsky 1 year, 3 months ago

Due process is not tenure.

Tenure: noun - status granted to an employee, usually after a probationary period, indicating that the position or employment is permanent.

Teachers have never had permanent jobs. What they used to have, and hope to have again, is a right to due process. This means teachers would have a right to get a hearing before the Superintendent and/or school board if a principal wants to terminate their employment. In this sort of a hearing, the principal would be asked to identify and explain the reasons for the termination, the teacher would have an opportunity to respond, and then the superintendent and/or school board would decide whether to follow through on the termination, or to allow the teacher to maintain employment.

It isn't a permanent job, it is just a guarantee that a teacher can ask an objective party to look at why they were fired from their job, and to listen to their side of the situation, in an effort to prevent arbitrary terminations.

I wish the Journal World would stop giving the public incorrect information.

Pete Kennamore 1 year, 3 months ago

Gee can I get the right to "due process" at my job? My employer can fire me for any reason. Why should teachers be different? The way you keep a job is to bring value to the marketplace.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 year, 3 months ago

Maybe you should unionize and negotiate that right. I think any company that fires someone without reason, should be put out there in social media, and good, quality people should avoid working for them. Sounds like you work for a jerk company. I would look for another job. There are better employees out there.

Pete Kennamore 1 year, 3 months ago

Reading comprehension isn't your strong suit is it Dorothy?

Greg Cooper 1 year, 3 months ago

The correct term has been used in other stories by this paper, but my guess is that "due process" doesn't carry the emotional, unreasoning anger that "tenure" does, so doesn't generate as many clicks or garner as many paper readers. There aren't any other options, other than simple ignorance of the differences.

Greg Cooper 1 year, 3 months ago

"My employer can fire me for any reason. Why should teachers be different?"

Because you and your fellow workers apparently have not made clear to your boss just how valuable you are to him and his company. Teachers, on the other hand, have unique skill sets that make them indispensable to schools, and schools recognize that.

By the way, in Kansas, you have every right to organize a union to accomplish the things that teachers have gained. Regardless of what you've been told, unions do have the better interests of their members in mind.

Pete Kennamore 1 year, 3 months ago

"Because you and your fellow workers apparently have not made clear to your boss just how valuable you are to him and his company"

I assure you my employer realizes the value I bring to the table. That might be the reason I've been paid a 6 figure salary for the past 30 years. Why on earth would I pay some union goon to speak for me? I can represent myself and my skills far better than a union could ever hope to do.
BTW, I worked in a union shop in a former life and I have first hand experience that the last thing on the mind of union leaders is the better interest of the members.

Jeff Plinsky 1 year, 3 months ago

Our employers (the State Legislature) have spent the last several years trying to systematically dismantle public education. It does not matter how hard I work nor how effective I am at my job. They want my job to end. They want my place of work to disappear. I am a union member because the full weight of the State of Kansas can only be counteracted if teachers work and speak together. If I thought for one moment that I could make 6 figures at this job by not being a union member, I would do it. But without the union, I'd still be making $29K per year because the people who make the salary decisions don't care if I'm good at my job. They care about not collecting taxes and paying for services. So, yes, I do want due process at my job. And for what it is worth, Pete, I think you should have due process, too. No one deserves to be fired without cause. No one. Not even you.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 year, 3 months ago

But if your company fires people without reason that means they are jerks, period. I'm all for firing people for not showing up at work, for not doing their job, for many reasons. But to fire them and not tell them why, is just as bad as a bad employee. Why do you work for such horrible people? How many have they fired without giving a reason? Have they fired people just because they weren't yes men? I'd find a different job, if I were you. I would hate to work somewhere that doesn't treat people like professionals. Do you always have to toe the line and never question your boss? Are you a professional? Teachers are professionals by the way. They shouldn't have to play politics with principles and superintendents. What do you do?

Pete Kennamore 1 year, 3 months ago

I didn't say, or imply, that my employer terminates people unjustly. I just pointed out that they could fire without cause if they wish. ALL jobs involve politics. If you don't realize that you are a fool.

Greg Cooper 1 year, 3 months ago

Calling someone a fool, in this case is, well, foolish. If you have not been a teacher you have not experienced the real due process that keeps bad teachers from continued employment and prevents good teachers from having to worry about political puffery or parents who don't have any notion about the education of their kids. Until you have seen it work, you have not a clue as to what you are talking about.

Greg Cooper 1 year, 3 months ago

Oh, drat!! A pithy, fact-filled refutation from Pete. I must need to go hide under the rock from which I came. Thanks for pointing out the truth of my thoughts. I'm feeling much better, now.


Greg Cooper 1 year, 3 months ago

"Opponents urged their fellow lawmakers to give local boards and districts control of tenure decisions."

Like this legislature has been so protective of local control......

Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

It's the conservative back door trick to hopefully derail ......

Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

What Unions Have Done For Workers

Conservatives have sought to malign the union movement by claiming that it is simply defending the parochial interests of labor unions, who they claim are imposing huge costs on taxpayers with little benefit. Yet the truth is that America’s public and private unions have been one of the major forces in building a robust and vibrant middle class and have fought over the past century to improve the lives of all Americans in a variety of ways. ThinkProgress has assembled just Five of the many things that American workers can thank the nation’s unions for.

  1. Unions Gave Us The Weekend: Even the ultra-conservative Mises Institute notes that the relatively labor-free 1870, the average workweek for most Americans was 61 hours — almost double what most Americans work now. Yet in the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century, labor unions engaged in massive strikes in order to demand shorter workweeks so that Americans could be home with their loved ones instead of constantly toiling for their employers with no leisure time.

  2. Unions Gave Us Fair Wages And Relative Income Equality: As ThinkProgress reported earlier in the week, the relative decline of unions over the past 35 years has mirrored a decline in the middle class’s share of national income. It is also true that at the time when most Americans belonged to a union — a period of time between the 1940′s and 1950′s — income inequality in the U.S. was at its lowest point in the history of the country.

  3. Unions Helped End Child Labor: The very first American Federation of Labor (AFL) national convention passed “a resolution calling on states to ban children under 14 from all gainful employment” in 1881, and soon after states across the country adopted similar recommendations, leading up to the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act which regulated child labor the federal level for the first time.

  4. Unions Won Widespread Employer-Based Health Coverage: “The rise of unions in the 1930′s and 1940′s led to the first great expansion of health care” for all Americans, as labor unions banded workers together to negotiate for health coverage plans from employers. In 1942, “the US set up a National War Labor Board. It had the power to set a cap on all wage increases. But it let employers circumvent the cap by offering “fringe benefits” – notably, health insurance

  5. Unions Spearheaded The Fight For The Family And Medical Leave Act: Labor unions like the AFL-CIO federation led the fight for this 1993 law, which “requires state agencies and private employers with more than 50 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave annually for workers to care for a newborn, newly adopted child, seriously ill family member or for the worker’s own illness.”

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