Major changes to teacher employment laws in Kansas will soon be taking effect, eliminating from state law what many people know as “tenure.” That means administrators will be able to be fire teachers more easily. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, it could be several years before we know the full effects of the changes.
Under the old rules, Kansas teachers who had been with a district fewer than three years were on probationary status, and could be let go without a reason. University of Kansas Professor Mickey Imber studies education leadership and policy. He says there generally have not been large numbers of those probationary teachers removed, which might show that districts won’t be quick to fire teachers with more experience. But at this point, he says there are still questions about how districts will react.
“We really don’t know if school districts have just been waiting and now they’re rubbing their hands, ‘we’re going to get rid of all these teachers that we have wanted to get rid of but just couldn’t because they had due process rights,’” says Imber.
Imber says it can be difficult to find teachers in some areas, so districts might work harder at helping struggling teachers improve, rather than just firing them.