Missouri Lawmakers Vote Down Bill to Get Rid of Teacher Tenure

Photo of a burned out teacher at his desk.

In what's being called a victory for professionals with education experience on their resume, a bill to abolish tenure for public school teachers has been scrapped by lawmakers in Missouri.

In a test vote, the state Senate sidelined the measure, voting instead to set up a task force to study teacher salaries and effectiveness, according to the Kansas City Star.

Teachers' groups in the state had fought the bill, SB806, on the grounds that educators need protection from political pressure, and that local school districts and not the state should be in charge of evaluating teacher performance.

Following the vote, Republican Senator David Pearce, who proposed setting up the task force, said the idea of eliminating tenure in the state is a major decision that needs to be examined further.

The bill today would have abolished tenure, and I think it was just a rash decision that the Senate was not prepared to make, Pearce added.

Lawmakers are still debating a provision in the pending bill that would require school districts to base layoffs on teacher effectiveness instead of seniority.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for kindergarten and elementary school teachers are expected to increase by 17% through the end of the decade.

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