Monday, May 03, 2010

Advocates Seek to Tweak EduJobs Bill

This from Politics K-12:

You may remember that Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, just released a bill aimed at helping states and districts avert a tidal wave of layoffs and programmatic cuts.

Education advocates are eager to see passage of the bill, which would include $23 billion in new state stabilization dollars. The U.S. House of Representatives has already approved similar legislation. Rumor has it the Senate bill could hitch a ride on an emergency spending measure aimed at military spending.

But folks have some ideas for changes that they say would keep more teachers employed. For instance, the Education Trust today released a statement saying the bill should encourage districts to move away from seniority-based teacher layoffs that don't take teacher effectiveness into account.

The organization cites a report released last year by the Center for Reinventing Public Education, at the University of Washington, in Seattle. It shows that more
people lose their jobs than necessary under a seniority based system, in part because the newest teachers are usually the lowest-paid. As a result, a district must lay off more of those newer teachers in order to achieve the same cost savings that it might get by laying off more-experienced teachers who earn higher pay, even if they aren't as effective...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am not exactly sure what is going on with attaching an education bill with a military spending bill—that scares me a just a little bit. Otherwise, though, I find the idea proposed by education advocates that layoffs should be necessarily based on teacher performance and merit rather than only seniority. Though I think seniority is important because it might show that a teacher has had excellent performance for a long time, it also is not the only reason for keeping somebody on as a teacher. If teachers are getting the pink slip the decision needs to be based on performance and less on durability.

Josh Hamm