This year identical bills have been introduced in Virginia’s state legislature that will impact Virginia’s future teachers.
The following is a brief explanation to share with pre-service teachers and colleagues so that students and professors can contact their state legislators and ask them to oppose these bills.
The McDonnell Administration wants to eliminate continuing contract for teachers completely but faces constitutional difficulties. Therefore what most likely will happen if HB576 and SB438 passes, will be a two-tiered system where current teachers will be grandfathered in and new teachers entering the profession will face the following:
- New teachers entering the profession will have to complete 5 years of probationary service, an increase from the current 3 year probation.
- After a 5 year probationary period if a teacher receives a “Continuing Contract” it will last for 3 years. After those 3 years are up a teacher could be denied a new 3-year term contract without a hearing or a proof of cause. In other words, there is no due process and a teacher could just be told she or he will not be given another 3-year term. The bill specifically reads: “no reason is required to deny a new term contract.”
Improving teacher evaluation and professionalism is a laudable goal. But putting teachers on term contracts subject to renewal without good cause does not improve the teaching profession or benefit Virginia students.
Please contact your legislators and urge them to vote NO on HB576 and SB438. You can identify and locate your legislators (and send them a pre-written letter if you choose to do so) by using the following link:
The bills may be up for a full vote any day so act now!