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Minutes for HB2179 - Committee on Education

Short Title

Due process for terminating teachers' contracts.

Minutes Content for Tue, Feb 14, 2017

Chairperson Aurand opened the hearing on HB 2179

Jason Long gave an overview of the due process procedure for teachers. (Attachment 1)

Chairperson Aurand welcomed the proponents to speak to the Committee. 

Mark Desetti testified in support of the bill by telling a story of a teacher who took a stand against plagiarism. He stated his organization will sit down and work on amendments to the bill, but not until it is passed on the House side. He testified he has seen a war on teachers for a numbers of years, and now is the time to end it.  (Attachment 2)

David Schauner spoke as a proponent of the bill by sharing the history and financial implications of the past.  He outlined the current method of dealing with teacher termination issues. He stated that what was created in the 2014 Legislative middle of the night session created a mess.  He urged the Committee to legislate a reasonable process that applies to over 40,000 teachers in Kansas. (Attachment 3)

Lisa Ochs testified in support of the bill. She stated due process is a right any public employee should have. She urged the committee to pass the bill onto the House floor, noting that this bill will not cost a dime, but will give so much on Valentine's Day to the teachers who are doing God's work.  (Attachment 4)

Rebecca Proctor testified as a proponent of the bill from the perspective of her work as a Human Resources professional. She explained best practice in the private sector would never randomly dismiss a person, but have a clear case for termination.  (Attachment 5)

Brian Koon defined the terms tenure and due process. He stated the absence of job protection has negatively impacted the number of students entering teacher training programs. He argued due process is the best and cheapest means by which we can obtain the most educational bang for our tax buck.  (Attachment 6)

Chairperson Aurand welcomed opponents to speak to the Committee. 

Mark Tallman testified as an opponent to the bill. He stated the final decision on teacher due process should be left to local school boards. KASB supports some revision of the due process law, but this bill does not meet their needs. (Attachment 7)

David Dorsey testified that he was recently a public school teacher and he did not feel at war with the state. He is not opposed to teachers having due process, but Kansas Policy Institute does not believe this legislation is necessary as local districts can handle teacher terminations and do not need outside authorities.  (Attachment 8)

Chairperson Aurand asked for questions from the Committee.  Representatives Rooker, Arnberger, Ward, Dierks, Crum, Dove, Tarwater, Good, and Chairperson Aurand asked questions of the proponents and opponents of the bill. 

There being no further conferees, Chairperson Aurand closed the hearing on HB2179

Chairperson Aurand asked the Committee for comments on the next steps for HB2179. He stated his instinct is to put this issue off until next year so that a reasonable compromise can be found.

Representative Ward moved and Representative Trimmer seconded to suspend the Committee rules and work HB2179 today.

Chairperson Aurand stated the Committee rules reserve to the Chairperson the ability to bring a bill forward to be worked. Considering the motion by Representative Ward to be out of order and there being no further business before the Committee, Chairperson Aurand adjourned the meeting at 5:01.