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HB2500 Teacher Evaluations and Dismissal Bill Update

HB2500 was brought forward by the Arizona School Board Association (ASBA) from their school district attorney group. It was introduced and said to be a “clean up” bill related to the comprehensive teacher and principal evaluation bill that was passed during the 2012 legislative session (HB2823).  The AEA believes this is a much more substantive bill with major policy changes on teacher evaluations, improvement time periods, and teacher dismissal processes.  Accordingly, the AEA intervened on this bill on behalf of our members’ interests.  Read AEA’s summary of HB2500. The AEA worked with Representative Goodale, her legislative staff, and the ASBA and Arizona School Administrators (ASA) to make changes to the bill as introduced.  Three of the most significant changes that AEA was successful in making are:

The fact that the AEA was able to successfully negotiate these three major changes to a bill that was originally so detrimental to teachers’ rights and professionalism is a significant victory in light of the current political climate.  During the negotiations various individuals with considerable political influence sought to add additional provisions that would have significantly harmed teachers’ due process rights, lessened improvement time periods and reduced continuing teachers’ rights to a hearing.  AEA weighed the potential harm of these changes to our members, and accordingly agreed to remain neutral if all attempts to add other harmful provisions stopped.  The AEA also negotiated in good faith with the bill’s sponsor Representative Goodale to make the significant improvements outlined above.

The AEA remains concerned that those furthest from the classroom continue to push for changes to teacher evaluation policies before school districts have had a chance to complete or test a new evaluation system.  The AEA is vested in teaching as an esteemed profession and recognizes that our teachers work each and every day to do the best job they can in their classrooms.  In the future the AEA hopes that legislators focus on real issues like adequately funding our schools and giving teachers the support they need to provide a quality public education for every child.

The AEA firmly believes every student deserves a caring and quality teacher in the classroom.  AEA also believes that teachers need to be given the tools and resources to be effective in the classroom.  All public school employees must be evaluated fairly and accurately.  This means school districts and administrators should work with their teachers to help them improve on a timely basis.  The AEA stands ready to work with our local associations and members to bring evaluation policies in line with the changes in HB2500.

This bill passed the Arizona House on Thursday, February 28, 2013, by a vote of 50 ayes – 7 nays – 3 absent.  The bill has been transmitted to the Arizona Senate, and should be heard in the Senate Education Committee the morning of Thursday, March 14.


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