Teachers Will Suffer Under New Law

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Editor:

The Arizona Legislature and governor with House Bill 2011-Chapt. 12,49th legislature, 3rd Special Session, signed Sept. 4, will make every sleazy, corrupt third world country’s phony merit system for their teachers seem like the essence of fairness and openness in comparison to what is waiting for us in Arizona. Strong words? Consider the following:

For teachers with “continuing status,” (those with 3-plus years of experience), a school district is prohibited (my emphasis added) from adopting policies that provide employment retention priority for teachers based on tenure or seniority. (HB 2011: page 59, lines 35-34).

A school district is able to reduce the salary of a teacher with “continuing status,” in any manner, (my emphasis added). The prior statutory protection said a salary reduction of a “continuing status” teacher can occur only under a general salary reduction, (i.e. under a revised pay schedule). (HB 2011: page 66, lines 26-34).

A school district no longer has to give a preferred right of reappointment to a job his/her job through the reduction-in-force (RIF) process. (HB 2022: page 66, lines 36-43).

There is more, but those three seem like the big ones to me. Who would want to teach in a state where an individual teacher can be discriminated against in their rate of pay with no appeal rights whatsoever? No need to go through an established process for firing someone for cause when you can just reduce them to the statutory minimum pay level?

Will it reduce the cost of education? Of course it could. You could also improve the teacher/student ratio by hiring more teachers at less pay. WOW! What a great reform, at a time when we need to save tax money.

Does anyone else think the quality of our education system will go down significantly if this is allowed to stand? If you can read this, and understand it, thank a teacher. If in a couple years your kids/grandkids can’t, thank a legislator!

Al Lauderbaugh

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