The governor of Colorado signed into law a bill that would essentially end tenure rights for teachers in the state.
Enough Democrats split from their party to join with Republicans in the Colorado Senate and House to pass the bill.
Not only did the Democrats split over the law, so did the teacher unions. According to Sam Dillon in the NY Times the NEA, which is the largest teacher union in the state, opposed the bill. The AFT supported it.
Colorado Governor Jim Ritter, who signed the bill, is described by some as a “semi-progressive.” Kind of like being “almost pregnant.”
By the way, he is a Democrat who is anti-abortion rights.
The Colorado Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, opposed the change, in part because it didn’t explicitly define what it means to be “ineffective.” The union also argued that the measure comes as teachers face larger class sizes due to coming budget cuts.
But the bill received a big boost last week when Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, endorsed it. At the AFT’s urging, the bill was altered to mandate seniority be taken into account when deciding which “effective” teachers to lay off during budget cuts. The union also negotiated the addition of an appeals process before a tenured teacher is returned to probationary status.