Kansas Panel Takes Up Teacher Bargaining Rights Bill

By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A Kansas House committee has heard conflicting opinions about the merits of a bill that would narrow the topics for negotiation in teacher contract talks.

Proponents told the committee Wednesday that school districts need more flexibility in contract negotiations. They said the changes would give school boards and administrators more options in assigning teachers and organizing schools.

But educators say the changes would be demoralizing to public school staff members and damaging to classroom learning.

Opponents include the Kansas National Education Association, which calls the measure part of a broader attack on teachers and their profession.

The bill would reduce the number of issues that teachers could negotiate with local school boards. For example, teachers could still negotiate such things as pay and sick leave, but not performance evaluations.

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