Governor Wolf plans to veto teacher tenure proposal

Written by David Payne/Radio Pennsylvania | May 11, 2016 4:50 AM

(Harrisburg) -- A teacher tenure proposal passed by the state Senate earlier this week could soon meet Governor Tom Wolf's veto pen.

The Senate voted 28 to 22 on Monday in favor of the proposal to require school districts making layoffs to first eliminate the jobs of educators deemed to be failing or in need of improvement, rather than those most recently hired.

Wolf's spokesman Jeff Sheridan says the governor considers it unfair.

"What we've seen over the past several years is that due to inadequate funding by the state, many of school districts have been forced to lay off tens of thousands of educators," he says. "The govenor is fighting for more education funding and to invest into education and believes we should be talking about that, not how to deal with mass layoffs."

Districts would have to use the state's four-year-old teacher performance rating system to guide decisions about layoffs and reinstatements.

Sheridan says Wolf will veto the measure once it reaches his desk, noting it relies on an untested method.

He says school districts already have the necessary tools at their disposal when it comes to effectively evaluating teachers.

Supporters say Pennsylvania is among a small number of states that use seniority as the sole factor in determining which teachers should lose their jobs during tough economic times.

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