Currently, a teacher has to work in the same school district for five years to earn tenure. The bill sponsored by State Senator Jane Cunningham (R, Chesterfield) would expand that requirement to 10 years.
“As long as the teacher does not own their job, if you will, then they’re going to be really working to prove (themselves) and do a good job," Cunningham said. "It gives us five more years of encouraging and giving motivation to teachers to really produce.”
About 300 teachers are at the Missouri Capitol lobbying lawmakers over a measure that includes phasing out the state's teacher tenure system.
The teachers held a brief rally Tuesday the Capitol rotunda Tuesday. Among other things, the bill would not allow the state's tenure law to apply to teachers hired after June 2013.
Ralf Trusty, president of the Missouri State Teachers Association, says that teachers are an important part of a child's development. He says teachers need to know that their jobs are secure so that they can do those jobs well.
A proposed state constitutional amendment would bar tenure for Missouri's school teachers.
The proposed initiative petition was filed Tuesday with the secretary of state's office. It could appear before voters in November if supporters gather between 147,000 and 160,000 signatures from supporters.
Some Missouri lawmakers say the state should do away with its tenure system for teachers and make students' academic performance a big part of their evaluations.
A House panel heard testimony Wednesday on legislation that would require 50 percent of a teacher's evaluation to be based on students' scores on state tests. Teachers would not be guaranteed salary increases based on their classroom experience. The changes would take effect in July 2012.