Thursday, May 21, 2009

Stop the erosion of teacher and school employee rights

A bill that could seriously threaten the rights of teachers and school employees - including making the contents of personnel files public -will be heard by the House of Representatives in the next few days.

In spite of thousands of messages sent to the House Education Committee opposing HB 851 by Rep. Steve Carter (R-Baton Rouge), the committee approved the bill and sent it to the full House for a vote. Committee members were heavily pressured by Gov. Bobby Jindal to vote for this so-called "reform" bill.

If the bill passes, it will give local school superintendents total authority over the hiring and firing of teachers and school employees. Teachers and school employees will be deprived of specific rights to appeal their grievances to the school board.

The bill would allow "information on due process, grievance procedures, hearings and tenure" to be shared with the public, which could put personnel files into the public domain.

Under current law, superintendents make recommendations - including hiring, retirements and terminations - which are voted on by the board. They are listed under "personnel matters" on most school board agendas. This makes government more transparent and holds elected officials accountable to the public.

If HB 851 passes, those decisions would be made by the superintendent alone.
The current law is designed to provide necessary checks and balances against against favoritism and abuse, and to protect the rights of teachers and school employees.

Please click this link and ask your State Representative to vote against HB 851.

No comments: