I know that we have many problems in Higher Education this legislative session, however if HB400 passes relating to K-12 it will be a disaster for everyone: parents with children in public school, future higher ed students and all union members. Please take time to read this and call the 800 number below. Do not use state equipment and identify yourself as a TFA member.
Mary Aldridge Dean
Executive Director, TFA
May 5, 2011
House will try again to pass House Bill 400, a major anti-teacher bill!
House Bill 400 is back and is as bad as ever. Although it was delayed last week on a technicality, it has been rescheduled on the House calendar for tomorrow (Friday, May 6), and it remains a full-scale assault on teacher pay and employment rights that will do PERMANENT damage to the public schools. Please alert your members to call their state representatives to demand they vote against House Bill 400.
If they already have called, urge them to call again!
Here is a reminder of some of the bill’s worst provisions:
* Permanently raises the 22-1 cap in K-4 to 25-1, making it easier for school districts to fire more teachers.
* Permanently eliminates the requirement that districts cannot pay teachers less next year than they earned this year. It also eliminates the state minimum salary schedule and lets districts set their own compensation systems with their own rules.
* Permanently allows school boards to furlough teachers and reduce their salaries accordingly.
* Permanently allows a district to declare a financial emergency at any time for purposes of doing a reduction in force and permanently deletes seniority as one of the factors used in determining who is terminated if a RIF is implemented.
* Permanently changes the date for notice of non-renewal to the last day of instruction.
* Permanently eliminates the use of a neutral hearing officer for mid-year terminations and replaces that with a hearing before the board.
NOW is the time to call your state representative and let him or her know what these changes will mean for you, your classroom, your school and your community. We must stop House Bill 400, and your call is critical! If you have called before, please call again.
To contact your state representative, call 800-260-5444, and we will connect you. You can call any time, TODAY, TONIGHT or TOMORROW. Leaving a voice message with your representative’s office is just as good as talking to a staff member.
It is important to include the following points in your conversation or message:
* Your name, that you are a TSTA member and that you live and vote in their district.
* Your own story, how laying off educators, ordering furloughs and cutting their pay would hurt the quality of education in your school and for your students.
* Ask your representative to refuse to participate in this unwarranted attack on teachers and public schools.
This will take only a few minutes of your time, and it will be time well spent. Your representative needs to hear from you NOW!
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