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KS House Committee Takes Up Union Bargaining Bill

Union hearingA packed committee room for the bill's hearing. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)A Kansas House committee has heard from supporters and opponents of a bill that would limit the bargaining rights of teachers. The legislation would cut back on the items school districts are required to negotiate with unions from more than two dozen to five. Supporters of the change say it will allow administrators to allocate resources and respond to demands on the education system. Ken Willard is a member of the Kansas Board of Education and he headed a school efficiency task force created by Governor Sam Brownback.

But opponents of the bill call it an attack on teachers and say it could hurt classroom outcomes by creating teachers who aren’t satisfied with their work environments. David Schauner (SHAWN-er) is with the Kansas National Education Association, a union representing teachers.

Dozens of educators filled the hearing so it was standing room only. They sometimes scoffed or laughed at comments made by supporters of the bill. The House commerce committee will continue hearings on the bill tomorrow (FRI).


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