A group of educators is suing the state of Missouri over a proposed constitutional amendment requiring tenure for public school teachers be based on performance, not seniority.
In a press release issued Friday, the four plaintiffs in the suit say school districts would be allowed to fire or cut the pay of teachers and administrators without cause or due process, and that the ballot language should be rewritten to reflect that. They also say the initiative will be more expensive than its backers have estimated, costing K-12 schools millions of dollars.
Kate Casas is with the Children’s Education Council of Missouri, which supports the initiative. She says the current teacher tenure system is broken, and that the ballot initiative will address that problem.
"It offers a research-based solution in making sure teachers are evaluated on objective, rather than subjective, information," Casas said. "It allows school districts to make decisions based on that more objective information."
Casas says the ballot initiative will also do away with the "last in, first out" policy of laying off promising young teachers simply because they’re newer.
The proposed constitutional amendment is also backed by St. Louis billionaire Rex Sinquefield.