Thursday, June 9, 2011

House passes Tenure "Package"

Below is a release put out by an educational organization this afternoon after the House voted to approve the 4 tenure bills. The bill's new prohibitions regarding what can and can not be bargained are serious. While some people might argue that seniority is not the best way to deal with layoffs, it is going to look like a stellar way to do it if the legislature gets its way. If this passes through the next levels, evaluation procedures can't be bargained and decisions regarding layoffs can't be bargained. I can imagine that some districts will handle it well, but there are no guarantees. The report:

This afternoon the Republican controlled Michigan House, with the support of some Democrats, approved a four-bill package to dismantle teacher tenure and made a number of subjects prohibited from collective bargaining. The bills - House Bill 4625, 4626, 4627, and 4628 - will now go to the Senate for consideration.

The House made some modifications to the bills.

The bills increases the probationary period to five years, but added a provision that if a teacher received “effective” ratings it would be reduced to three years.

The legislation still says a teacher on probation can be dismissed at any time and that a school shall dismiss teachers rated "ineffective" two years in a row.

An amendment to the bill states that probationary teachers would be notified about whether their job performance was satisfactory 15-days before the end of the school year, it is currently 60 days; the original bills said “end of school year.”

There was an amendment adopted on the floor, which says that a school would require a second probationary period for a teacher on continuing tenure who is rated ineffective in two annual job evaluations. The legislation originally referred to only one job evaluation.

Another amendment was adopted changing the definition of demote to suspension without pay for 15 consecutive days (instead of 20) or 30 days (instead of 40) in a school year.

The bills replaces “reasonable and just cause” with “not arbitrary and capricious” for teacher tenure discharge; eliminates the assumption of a satisfactory performance if an evaluation is not conducted; and prohibits the use of seniority in the reduction of staff.

It amends PERA to include the following PROHIBITED subjects of bargaining:
Decisions about the development, content, standards, procedures, adoption and implementation of personnel policies and decisions for: the placement of teachers; personnel decisions of all employees; elimination of positions, recall, & hiring after a reduction; evaluations systems; discharge and discipline; number of observations or format of classroom observations; and, method of compensation and performance based compensation.

The following Democrats voted with all the Republicans to pass HB4625 to amend the Tenure Act: Phil Cavanagh (Redford Twp), Shanelle Jackson (Detroit), Marilyn Lane (Fraser), Richard LeBlanc (Westland), Tim Melton (Pontiac), David Rutledge (Ypsilanti), Ray Schmidt (Grand Rapids), and Maureen Stapleton (Detroit).

On HB4626 all Republicans except Michael Callton (Nashville) and Tom Hooker (Byron Center) voted for the bill, all Democrats voted against.

On HB4627 to revise the school code on evaluation and seniority all the Republicans except Ed McBroom (Vulcan) voted for the bill, all the Democrats voted against.

On HB 4627 which increases the items we cannot bargain all the Republicans voted for the bill except Ken Goike (Ray Twp.), Tom Hooker (Byron Center), Ed McBroom (Vulcan) and Paul Muxlow (Brown City), and all the Democrats voted no.

Next Up … the elimination of retiree health care! (Bill Rogers again! Look out!)