Next step is recall of out-of-touch legislators
Votes by lawmakers to take collective bargaining rights from public employees and make sweeping changes to teacher tenure will fuel grassroots efforts by voters in many communities who question whether their elected leaders deserve to remain in office.
With independent recall efforts already underway in many state House districts and against Gov. Rick Snyder, MEA will now get involved in many of those voter-led initiatives.
To date, MEA has not endorsed those efforts, though many members have chosen individually to get involved.
Our elected leaders need to know that we will not sit idly by as they try to dismantle public education, destroy the middle class, and defeat MEA and other public sector unions!
MEA will also consider supporting recall efforts of some senators.
More information about the next steps will be available soon, so stay tuned. You may be on break for the summer, but you must be engaged more than ever – for your students, your school, your community, and your profession!
In the meantime, here’s some additional information about House Bills 4625-4628.
House Bill 4625:
- Amends teacher tenure law to increase the probationary period from four full school years to five, except for a teacher who is rated as “highly effective” on three consecutive year-end evaluations.
- Requires probationary teachers to be notified at least 15 days, rather than 60, before the end of the school year that his/her services will be discontinued.
- Allows dismissal of probationary teachers at any time.
- Requires school boards to set the number and format of classroom observations for all teachers.
- Requires a tenure hearing to conclude within 60 days, rather than 90, after an appeal is filed.
House Bill 4626:
- Further amends teacher tenure law to allow discipline and discharge of tenured teachers for any reasons that is not arbitrary and capricious rather than for reasonable and just cause. Under this very low standard, teachers could be fired for almost any reason.
- Limits the time a suspended teacher’s salary would be continued after chargers are filed under tenure law.
House Bill 4627:
- Amends the Revised School Code to allow districts to hire/place teachers with demonstrated effectiveness and qualifications.
- Experience will not be a factor if a district is reducing its force. Individual performance will instead be the major factor in staffing decisions.
- Requires annual teacher evaluations and mid-year progress reports for all teachers beginning in 2013-14.
- At least 25 percent of a teacher or administrator year-end evaluation will be based on student growth and assessment data in 2013-14. In 2014-15, it will account for 40 percent of the evaluation. In 2015-16, it will account for 49 percent of the evaluation.
- Creates a new Governor’s Council on Educator Effectiveness to recommend a student growth assessment tool and state evaluation tools for teachers and administrators.
- Requires schools to notify parents if their children are assigned to teachers whose last two year-end ratings were “ineffective,” beginning in 2015-16.
House Bill 4628:
- Amends the Public Employment Relations Act to prohibit collective bargaining of many new subjects, including: teacher placement and personnel policies; the evaluation system; discipline/discharge policies; classroom observation decisions; merit pay; and decisions about parental notification of ineffective teachers.
Find out how your legislators voted on these bills. Snyder is expected to sign the bills into law soon.