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Senators will consider giving principals a veto

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:50 am |
January 31, 2013 1:11 pm

The Senate Education Committee is due to consider Friday if principals and teachers should each be able to veto the teachers’ school assignments.

If Senate Bill 5242 were to become law, teachers “may be assigned to a particular school only with the mutual agreement of the principal and the staff member being assigned.”

The measure provides for temporary assignments when mutual agreement can’t be reached, such as substitute, support-staff or district-office jobs. But it says school districts can start the process of dismissing a teacher who has spent eight months in a temporary job.

Sen. Steve Litzow, who sponsored the bill and chairs the committee, told me earlier this year that he aims to end “forced placement” of teachers. He said of principals: ”We’re holding them accountable. We’re going to start grading their school. ‘They keep coming back to me and going, ‘Great, if you’re going to hold me accountable, give me the authority to actually do what I think is right for my kids,’” Litzow said. “And they right now are having a hard time with forced placement, no mutual consent.”

UPDATE 1 p.m.: The Washington Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, is arrayed against this one. It “eliminates fair due process for teachers by allowing school districts to fire certain teachers without cause,” the WEA said in a blog post.

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