In response to the May 7th column from Marc Rhoades: Needless to say, once again another erroneous characterization of HB 2506 and the Tenure issue. I do not speak to the entire bill only the due process aspect. He delivers a straightforward explanation of the tax credits. I only contend that his opinion of
what the bill allows is misrepresented "gives local school boards autonomy to offer due process .... gives hard-working teachers a level playing field ...gives communities more of a voice in education..." it is only his opinion.
After 36 years in the education system I've come to see this; everyone thinks they're an expert on education because everyone has attended school. Everyone has a right to their opinions but opinions aren't facts.
Tenure is not a golden umbrella that keeps teachers from being fired. In almost all the states of the Union tenure simply means that after so many years in the system you have a right to a series of steps before you are fired. You are allowed a process, that's it. There is nothing in place to prevent a firing in virtually all of our public schools no matter how long you have taught. There are different tenure protections in some major colleges and I suppose that might be where some people get the idea tenure means you can't be let go. That is not true in most state k-12 education systems, especially in Kansas. Be assured, in all of the states in this country, if it's proven you did injury to a student your tenure as teacher means nothing. Contract clauses nullify tenure protection in those cases. Nobody can protect you. If you cause harm to a child nobody should protect you. Sorry, that was an opinion.
HB2506 is a done deal in all its aspects, financial or otherwise. No one can contend that. I just want it to be clear that issues aren't always, "needless to say." Sometimes you have to admit that opinions aren't facts and sometimes you have to get the facts out there. Having opinions does not make an expert. My opinions would not serve well if someone truly wanted to know what's going on in Topeka. Sure, I've studied the current legislative issues but in the end, what do I know? I'm just a teacher.
— Anthony Cuellar, ELL Instructor Chisholm Middle School, Newton USD 373