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Long-Term Effects Of Kansas Tenure Repeal Uncertain

Major changes to teacher employment laws in Kansas will soon be taking effect, eliminating from state law what many people know as “tenure.”

That means administrators will be able to be fire teachers more easily, and it could be several years before we know the full effects of the changes. Under the old rules, Kansas teachers who had been with a district fewer than three years were on probationary status, and could be let go without a reason.

University of Kansas Professor Mickey Imber studies education leadership and policy and says there generally have not been large numbers of those probationary teachers removed, which might show that districts won’t be quick to fire teachers with more experience.

But at this point, Imber says there are still questions about how districts will react.

“We really don’t know if school districts have just been waiting and now they’re rubbing their hands, ‘we’re going to get rid of all these teachers that we have wanted to get rid of but just couldn’t,’” he says.

Imber says it can be difficult to find teachers in some areas, so districts might work harder at helping struggling teachers improve, rather than just firing them.

As the Kansas News Service managing editor, I help our statewide team of reporters find the important issues and breaking news that impact people statewide. We refine our daily stories to illustrate the issues and events that affect the health, well-being and economic stability of the people of Kansas. Email me at skoranda@kcur.org.
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