Monday, March 14, 2016

Kansas State Government wants our public school teachers beaten down and in-their-place

By SJ Otto
Never in the history of Kansas has a state government been so determined to beat down and humiliate Kansas public school teachers. From new laws to make it easier to fire Kansas teachers to new attacks on their union, our legislators and our idiot governor, Sam Brownback, have made it painfully clear how badly they dislike those in the teaching profession.
There is a law to make it easier to fire teachers, with the idea that they should have no more protections than any other worker in Kansas. It lets them know that they are just doing another low paying job, nothing more and nothing less.
Susan Wagle said it all in a statement to WIBW News,  “When you have a teacher that is impeding that system I believe an administrator should be able to let them go. That’s what happens in private schools.”
So teaching our future citizens is just business, like any other business. That is probably why they are working so hard to get rid of teacher's unions.
"Even the folks who fire teachers in Kansas aren’t sure what to make of a law change that would make firing teachers easier.
For generations, the state promised that before getting canned teachers could get an appeal. If a hearing officer disagreed with the teacher’s bosses, the instructor stayed in the classroom.
In eleventh-hour logrolling in the Legislature, that tenure-lite protection was wiped out by lawmakers venting the conviction that such safeguards intended to protect teachers from ax-grinding bosses serve mostly to coddle the lazy and incompetent."

This should surely let teachers know what the Kansas legislators think of them. Then there are the attacks on their unions. The Wichita Eagle had an editorial pointing out that no teachers came to support a new bill that teachers have to vote every three years as to weather or not to keep their unions. The Wichita Eagle found there were plenty of teachers against such a measure. Unlike other union workers, teacher face a constant challenge, with parental complaints of all kinds, from presenting material that one or a few parents find insulting to their own personal beliefs from unfounded accusations that a teacher has presented something inappropriate or pornographic (usually by a parent who felt insulted by something that went against their core beliefs). Other workers don't face this kind of danger. Teacher unions are their only protection.
There is also a bill to allow teachers to be prosecuted for presenting materials deemed harmful to a minor. Again this is just an excuse to punish a teacher whose points of view may offend some parents or legislators. There is little evidence to suggest that any teachers are presenting pornography or anything like it in the class room.

But this fits in with attempts to make teaching like any other job. Groups that backed this new bill, such as the Koch brother's own front group, Americans for Prosperity, Kansas Policy Institute and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), want to destroy all unions. They want a work place where all workers are afraid of being fired. They want Kansas workers, all of them including teachers, driven hard, lacking any kind of benefits, low wages and a constant fear they can be fired at any time for any reason. They want them to feel as valuable as and similar to oxen.
"Claiming that the school boards speak for the teachers, Rep. Marvin Kleeb tried to justify his behind closed doors meetings with superintendents and KASB which have resulted in a unconscionable attack on teachers and their right to a voice in the workplace.
Kansas Association of School Boards, the Kansas School Superintendents Association, and Rep. Kleeb believe that teachers must be silenced and their beliefs are apparent in Sub for House Bill 2027, rammed through Kleeb’s House Committee on Commerce yesterday without any opportunity for input from those most affected by the bill — classroom teachers.
Frankly, we are surprised and shocked by the positions taken by KASB and KSSA. In our experience, most individual school board members and superintendents have more respect for their teachers than is reflected in this proposal. We hope that more school boards will act as did Lawrence and publicly oppose bills like Sub for HB 2027."

It should surprise no one that Kansas teachers are being driven away. Of course a lot of this has to do with low pay and a constant shortage of state money to pay for more teachers. But I for one have completely given up on getting full-time teaching job here in Kansas. Kansas' leaders really only want those teachers who are willing to give up all their dignity to work for sub-standard conditions and pay. To that I say "NO WAY!"  
Teachers pay is too low.

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