In the News: Colorado’s High Court – There’s No Such Thing as Teacher Tenure

The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled in a case brought by teachers who were unhappy with a new law that makes it possible for experienced teachers to be put on unpaid leave if no schools want to give them a job.

As Melanie Asmar explains in Chalkbeat,

The district argued it was simply following a 2010 state law, known as Senate Bill 191, that changed the rules for teacher evaluations and assignments. The law allows teachers who lose their positions because of circumstances such as student enrollment declines to be put on unpaid leave if they don’t find new positions within 12 months or two hiring cycles.

The high court sided with the district, ruling that because Colorado law “provides for neither ‘tenure’ nor ‘permanent teachers,’” Denver Public Schools did not violate teachers’ rights. Instead of tenure, state law allows teachers to earn “non-probationary status” after three years of effective evaluations. Teachers with that status are entitled to a hearing before being fired.

Josh Dunn wrote about the Colorado law and a similar law in North Carolina that also changed the way teacher tenure works in “Hands Off My Tenure!” in the Spring 2017 issue of EdNext.

— Education Next

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