PA-Gov: Wolf Will Veto Bill Aiming To End Teacher Layoffs By Seniority

wolf-budget addressGovernor Wolf plans to veto House Bill 805, sponsored by State Rep. Stephen Bloom (HD-199).

The bill would amend the Public School Code of 1949, creating a performance rating for teachers based on a statewide system. Teachers would be observed under the system and given a rating of “distinguished”, “proficient”, “needs improvement” or “failing”.

Layoffs would first consider teachers who received a “failing” rating, while teachers who received a “needs improvement” classification would be considered next. Seniority of a teacher would only be factored in for layoffs if there is a tie between teacher ratings. The legislation aims to end the “last-in-first-out” policy for teachers.

Gov. Wolf, however, has been against the bill for months and plans to veto it once it comes to his desk for signing.

Wolf believes that in order to improve accountability, the state needs to move away from “high-stakes testing” and compared it to his recent efforts in a bipartisan movement to delay the Keystone exams “due to problems that arose from using these tests to determine graduation eligibility.”

Additionally, he asserted that schools already have the tools to evaluate teachers and that due to funding cuts, schools are already being forced to layoff teachers.

Lastly, Wolf believes House Bill 805 was “passed prematurely” and does not address the issue Pennsylvania is facing with evaluation and testing systems.

4 Responses

  1. For a party that pushes a local control message all the time, they certainly like to take the power away from local administrators and school boards and create statewide laws instead. They arguments that this is what happens in the private sector are false, there is plenty of dead weight there too. It seems we have a law on the books, cited above, to release poorly performing teachers due to negative evaluations, let’s have our administrators and managers use that law. We don’t need another. Typical legislature move, let’s pass a new law, even though we have a law that addresses the issue. Spinning their wheels and wasting taxpayer dollar. Legislature in PA is toxic.

  2. This is just another instance of the Republican majorities in both the PA House and Senate voting something through they know Wolf will veto. If they really REALLY wanted this, they would have passed it when Corbett was in office and was sure to sign. This is the way the legislative branch works in both Harrisburg and Washington – no actual legislation, just insanity acting as leadership.

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