Teachers have a tremendous impact on student success. Michigan students deserve to have access to the best teachers possible.
Due to the fiscal crisis, thousands of Michigan teachers could face layoffs this year. Currently, most Michigan districts lay off teachers based solely on seniority. This policy, known as "last in, first out" (LIFO), means the last teacher hired will be the first fired regardless of performance. This policy is bad for students, schools and teachers.
Every Michigan student deserves a great teacher. Research shows that, in school, the single most important factor to determine a student's success is the teacher. We must keep Michigan’s effective teachers in the classroom by ending LIFO. In addition, the bills being considered will require that principals and teachers both agree when a teacher is assigned to a school. Teachers deserve more of a say in where they work. Mutual consent gives them that voice.
The Michigan House passed this legislation with bi-partisan support. Now the Senate must pass the legislation so it can become law. Please let key senators know that you want to keep Michigan's best teachers in the classroom.
These bills will allow Michigan to end the antiquated practice of seniority-based layoffs. When we layoff teachers based on seniority, we layoff great teachers. It doesn’t matter whether these teachers have been teaching for three years or thirty, this is unfair to effective teachers and harmful to students and schools. This issue is especially important when budget cuts are taking effect and teachers will be terminated. Our students deserve access to the best possible teachers so we should ensure that the most effective teachers stay in the classroom.
These bills will also require mutual consent between teachers and principals for teacher placement. This provision will foster a sense of collaboration across a school and will give teachers more of a say in where they work. It will build an entire school community which is collaborative and focused on success and student achievement.
And these bills will also reform tenure so that it is reserved for teachers who have demonstrated effectiveness in the classroom. The research shows that there is no correlation between tenure and student performance.
I urge you to vote YES on this education reform package that is in the best interests of Michigan students.