Category «Teachers»

What Happens if I Break My Teacher’s Contract?

It’s hard to believe, but another school year starts in Arkansas in less than three weeks. Even at this late date, some school districts are still trying to fill positions that have gone unfilled all summer. It’s this time of year when I get questions from teachers who have already signed a contract with one school …

RIF Policies and the Teacher Fair Dismissal Act

I’ve summarized the Arkansas Teacher Fair Dismissal Act (TFDA) in a previous post, but since that time, I’ve received several phone calls, emails, and comments from readers who’ve asked how a school district’s Reduction-In-Force (RIF) policy might affect, or be affected by, the TFDA. Rather than reply to each reader separately, I’ve decided to write a …

The Future of Student Assessments in Arkansas

It’s no secret that the Common Core State Standards are controversial, both here and throughout the country. I still don’t fully understand why, and I highly suspect much of it is political, but regardless, a controversy exists. In March, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced he had appointed individuals to serve on the Governor’s Council on Common …

Teacher Evaluations and Student Growth

The new school year marks the first year of full implementation of the state’s new Teacher Excellence and Support System, a state-wide, mandatory teacher evaluation system intended to standardize comprehensive teacher evaluations and support. School districts piloted the program last year, but this will be the first year of mandatory implementation, as well as the …

Special Session Starts Today

I’ve written briefly about the problems with teacher health insurance in Arkansas in the past here, here, and here. Last fall, Governor Beebe called a special session in order to find a solution to the projected 50% increase in premiums for teachers that was slated to begin this past January. A short-term solution was implemented, …

An Overview of the Teacher Fair Dismissal Act

This time each year, I often get questions from readers and clients regarding the requirements of the Arkansas Teacher Fair Dismissal Act (TFDA). As teachers, many of my readers and clients want to know exactly how the TFDA protects them, so I’ve decided to do a brief overview of what the TFDA requires and a summary …

California Tenure Law Challenged

A hotly contested lawsuit in California could pave the way for teacher tenure law reform across the country. The education advocacy group, Students Matter, filed suit in 2012 against the State of California on behalf of nine California public school students seeking to strike down five state teacher tenure statutes. The plaintiffs, in Vergara v. …

Court Rejects First Amendment Arguments and Upholds Teacher’s Dismissal

In 2012, Bryan Craig, a tenured guidance counselor and girls’ basketball coach at Rich Central High School outside of Chicago, self-published a book containing adult relationship advice entitled “It’s Her Fault.” In this book, Craig sought to give advice to women regarding how to develop better relationships with men. While some of Craig’s advice is …

Update on Teacher Health Insurance

Last month, I broke down here why school employee health insurance is more expensive than that for general state employees and why school employees may be facing a 50% increase in premiums starting in January.  Several weeks ago, Governor Beebe delayed school employee enrollment from October 1 until November 1 (enrollment ends November 20) to give …