Apr. 28 – Great news: Today on 3d reading, the House rejected SB 315 (Ripley) – a bill to redefine good cause and truncate due process in the teacher tenure statutes.
The vote was not even close. 42 YES – 57 NO.
So ends this silly, mind-numbing battle of education community advocates, wits, and dimwits foolishly pitted against each other in a legislature that maybe more than ever demanded that we be united.
Your email, phone calls, personal contacts, and your MEA-MFT lobbyists made the difference.
Now, please contact all those legislators, Rs and Ds, who voted NO and give them your thanks. Use MEA-MFT’s legislative action feature to email them.
FYI – About SB 315:
SB 315 (Ripley) basically guts due process rights for teachers. MEA-MFT succeeded in tabling it at one point, but it’s back.
Teacher tenure simply gives teachers the same due process rights that all other employees have.
SB 315 is totally unnecessary.
Proponents of the bill can offer NO evidence that Montana’s tenure statutes – so far as they apply to the termination of tenured teachers – have failed to work as intended.
Proponents can offer NO good reasons for redefining good cause and truncating due process, except perhaps a lust for school trustee power to become all three: judge, jury, and executioner.
Proponents can offer NO evidence that MEA-MFT races one termination after another forward to the first arbitrator we can find.
For the record, relatively few teacher terminations are ever appealed to arbitration. But when they are, there is substantial reason for doing so.
The right to arbitration compels school trustees to carefully consider and then terminate only for good cause.
The right to arbitrate is at root the essence of due process.