By Steve Gunn
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota lawmakers in the state House and Senate have passed similar bills designed to do away with the ridiculous “last in, first out” policy for laying off public school teachers.
At a press conference supporting this effort Tuesday, former Rochester, Minnesota school board member Fred Daly told the media that he has witnessed the devastation the union-supported policy had on his district.
He said Rochester schools laid off 79 teachers in the summer of 2009 due to budget problems. Every young probationary teacher was dismissed, tenured teachers bumped into jobs in subject areas that they hadn’t taught in years, and ineffective teachers remained on staff due to seniority alone.
“By the end of the summer, we had a huge turnover in staff, a huge morale problem, and we were in an even worse position to close the achievement gap (between white and minority students),” Daly said, according to the PostBulletin.com.
“Those teachers who were ineffective are still in the classroom. We’re supposed to be here to help our kids, but it doesn’t seem like we are doing any good.”
The Republican-led House and Senate are expected to hammer out a compromise bill to send to Gov. Mark Dayton. The anticipated legislation would force school administrators to consider teacher performance when it comes to layoffs, instead of relying exclusively on seniority.
Dayton, a Democrat, has expressed doubts about the bill. Daly and others hope to increase pressure on the governor to sign it.
The “last in, first out” rule is under attack in states across the nation, because it has traditionally guaranteed jobs for older teachers who may not necessarily be more qualified, effective or motivated than younger peers.
Teacher unions have always supported the policy, because it provides job security and perks for veteran teachers. What does it do for students? Only increases the chance that they will have less effective teachers in their classrooms, simply because they’ve been around the longest.
This turkey of a policy should be cast aside, in Minnesota and every other state in the union.
Read the original story at PostBulletin.com.