From JCTA: Call your Senators NOW and tell them to VOTE NO on SB 8 and SB 3! 1-800-372-7181.

By TAMMY BERLIN

Jefferson County Teachers Association

We are on Day 3 of the session and already the education bills are starting to flow. At 1 today, the Senate Education Committee will take up Senate Bill 8 (SB 8), addressing teacher tenure.

The bill changes the makeup of the tribunal committee, removing the lay person and replacing them with an attorney. Decisions of the tribunal committee will also be limited to either overturning or upholding the decision of the superintendent.

Tribunal committees can currently reduce/lessen discipline, etc. Despite repeated requests to find common ground on improving the tribunal process, neither KEA or JCTA have been included in the discussions leading up to the drafting of this bill. We ask that you call your state senator and the state senators on the Education Committee and ask that they vote NO on this bill until a meeting has been held with the stakeholder organizations to draft language together.

Also moving through the Senate is Senate Bill 3 (SB 3) which affects SBDM [Site Based Decision Making] Committees. This bill reduces the number of teachers on the SBDM Committee from three to two, allows for teachers on the committee to be involuntarily transferred, and puts the hiring of principals back in the hands of superintendents. (Committees are consulted before the decision is made.)

New language also provides for school boards to have procedures in place to hear an appeal and initiate a review of decisions made by a local council.

Please contact your state Senator and ask that he or she vote “NO” on SB 3.