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Legal challenges for education bill

5/29/2014

Kansas Association of School Boards officials are encouraging members to be cautious about teacher tenure issues.

The school finance bill passed by the legislature last month included a provision eliminating due process rights for teachers.

"We were as surprised as anyone when that bill came down," said Mark Tallman, KASB associate executive director for advocacy and communication. "There's a lot of things in this bill that we would support. There's a lot of things that are very controversial."

KASB has "a long standing position saying that we felt there should be some changes made in due process that we thought would bring some balance back to the local board," Tallman said. "We were not calling for completely removing it which is what that bill did."

There could be legal challenges to the tenure elimination, and everyone is waiting to see what it means, he said.

"If the bill is upheld, then as an association we'll decide if we support it as is, or support some modification," Tallman said.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions, and KASB is "telling boards to be careful, be deliberative and see it as part of the total package."

-- Judy Sherard, HDN