Dear MRTA Members:
FINAL ACTION ALERT: REDUCTION IN FORCE BILL (HB 1526) DEBATE EXPECTED TODAY. The Session ends at 6:00 pm today. Please call or e-mail your state Senator NOW! Ask that your Senator oppose HB 1526.
The Senate did not debate HCS/HB 1526 (Scott Dieckhaus) on May 17, though intense lobbying activity continued throughout the day and into the evening due to the House threat to block HB 1174 unless the Senate passes HB 1526. HB 1526 is likely to be taken up, today, the final day of session.
MRTA strongly opposes HB 1526 and is concerned it could be amended with language from SB 842 that deals with the authority of the PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees.
The perfected HCS/HB 1526 damages the reduction in force (RIF) requirements by undermining respect for certification, experience and commitment to the district, while forcing districts to create an entirely new system to determine layoff priorities and leaving districts vulnerable to various legal challenges in implementing this new, untested mandate.
Sen. Rupp offered a Senate Substitute (SS) version that makes technical wording changes but still raises the same concerns regarding harmful changes to the reduction in force (RIF) requirements. Sen. Brad Lager offered SA 1 to add his SB 654 to require all school districts and charter schools to establish and implement a high-quality system of teacher and principal evaluations. The bill was laid over with the amendment pending.
An extremist group known as Students First, centered in Sacramento, California, has hired numerous lobbyists in Missouri and is pushing the various changes in tenure and evaluation policy contained in the various versions of HB 1526 and in SB 806 (Jane Cunningham).
Special THANKS to Otto Fajen who has contributed to this report.