Maybe Teacher Unions Are Part of the Problem

House Bill 2011 was signed on September 4th and went into effect November 24th.  What exactly is bill 2011?

  • Districts can no longer have policies that use seniority or tenure for retention or reduction in force.
  • Districts no longer have to rehire based on employment date after reduction in force rehire.
  • Districts no longer have to equally reduce tenured teacher’s salary.  It can be done individually.
  • Number of days for inadequate teacher to correct is 60 instead of 85 instructional days
  • Teachers can not be paid for doing union business on contracted time.
  • Districts no longer have to let teachers know by April 15th if they will be renewed.
  • Districts can issue contracts anytime they want instead of between March 15th and May 15th

This all sounds like a competitive and fair work environment to me.  It seems odd that so many people (especially teachers) are crying foul.  They even go as far as saying that this makes Arizona “restrictive”.  I guess the state is putting restrictions on the districts, but it seems like they are really just preventing the union from burying the school system in the midst of a state meltdown.  Doing things by seniority instead of competence is always a slippery slope.  Best I can tell this bill isn’t preventing districts from looking at tenure/seniority, but instead is saying that it should be only ONE factor in making decisions not the SOLE factor.

I think we have to think hard about whether we really need teachers with doctorate and master degrees teaching every class in K-12.  It’s not fair to ask a teacher to get a Masters Degree and then not pay them going rate for a Master’s Degree.  We have to start getting creative in how we educate or children before it’s too late.  The current system is broken for EVERYBODY.  I am sure I pissed a lot of educators off saying the above and that is not the intent.