Ed Reform ALERT

Important update: New version of ed reform bill to be released on Friday

Please contact your legislators now!

The Senate Ways and Means Committee will release another draft of legislation that deals with underperforming schools, innovation schools and charter schools on Friday November 13.

The MTA has been working with legislators to ensure that collective bargaining rights are protected and dismissal procedures are fair in schools that are designated as underperforming.

The bill as currently drafted does not provide for those protections in schools designated to be underperforming.

  • It says that if, after consulting with stakeholders, a school superintendent believes there are provisions in the union contract that stand in the way of bringing about rapid academic achievement in the school, the superintendent may propose changing those provisions.
  • If, after a truncated period of time to negotiate with the union, there is no agreement, the superintendent would have the power to unilaterally implement his or her last best offer. The superintendent could also dismiss the principal and faculty.

It is urgent that you contact your legislators right away and support the MTA’s proposed changes to this legislation.

Please make the following points:

  • MTA has proposed reinstating current law, which provides for a “good cause” standard for termination. Only through such a standard will educators receive fair treatment.
  • The MTA has proposed that if an agreement cannot be reached between the superintendent and the union concerning changes in the contract, the dispute would go to final and binding arbitration. This would be a rapid mechanism that would not impede turning around an underperforming school and would create a successful process.
  • Collaboration and respect among all stakeholders are essential for creating good schools. Giving a superintendent the power to waive provisions in the contract and terminate faculty and staff does nothing to foster trust, respect and collaboration. It would allow high-quality teachers to be forced out and would set the clock back on nepotism and other problems that union contracts have helped address.
  • Underperforming schools must be able to attract and retain highly qualified teachers. Teachers are going to be unwilling to teach in these schools if there are no job protections. This will doom the process to failure and will ill-serve students in underperforming schools.

Please contact your legislators and urge them to improve this legislation as the MTA proposes.