Teacher due process procedures advanced by committee

A measure that would restore due process procedures for teachers was approved Monday by the House Education Committee. 

The proposal — HB 2179 — was added as an amendment to HB 2578, which dealt with school bullying policies.  

State Rep. Valdenia Winn, D-Kansas City, made the motion to add the contents of HB 2179 to HB 2578. After a lengthy discussion, the amendment was approved 9-7. State Rep. Melissa Rooker, R-Fairway, later made the motion to pass out the bill favorably as amended. The motion carried. 

Now the legislation goes to the full House; KASB members should contact their Representatives to explain your position. 

The dispute over teacher due process has been going on for several years. 

In 2014, the Legislature repealed a teacher’s right to a hearing before an independent officer if the school board decided to non-renew the contract of a teacher who had been employed by the district for at least three years.  

KASB’s position is that the final decision on teacher due process procedures should be made by the local board, subject to constitutional protections. This position was reaffirmed by members in  regional meetings last Fall.

In testimony on January 24, 2018 on a similar bill, Associate Executive Director for Advocacy Mark Tallman said, “the strong consensus was that our members believe local boards, who are the employers and managers of the school system and are responsible for student achievement and management of district funds, should make the decision on removing teachers. We also support an appeal or recourse if boards make decisions that are arbitrary or capricious. However, we do not believe the previous system was the best way to achieve those two goals.”

The Kansas National Education Association has called for restoration of teacher due process rights and has challenged the law in a case pending before the Kansas Supreme Court.



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