Monday, March 5, 2012

Ground Hog Day/Pilot Says Lawmakers Not Fulfilling Obligation to Schools

This has been a miserable General Assembly for public education advocates. We’ve had so much thrown at us that some really bad bills got by when we were trying to fight the REALLY BAD bills.

Nothing has been worse than the Ground Hog Day nature of the Senate’s consideration of what we have come to call the “Fire the Teacher” bill. HB 576 allows experienced teachers to be fired without reason and without due process at the end of each three-year term contract. Every day your lobbyists get up, lobby against the bill in the morning, go to the Senate, and see the bill go by for the day.
When Senator Martin asked, once again, that the bill go by for the day, Senator Norment, the President pro tempore of the Senate, declared on the floor that the final vote will be taken tomorrow, seemingly impatient with the continued delay.

I’ve lost sleep over this one, and fear it has taken years off of my life!

In light of the fact that tomorrow is the day (I hope!), please call your Senator asking him/her to vote against HB 576. Click here for Senate phone numbers. Click her if you do not know who your Senator is.

The Virginian-Pilot recently ran an excellent editorial regarding the tuition tax credit/voucher bills that have passed in this General Assembly session. The budget impasse in the Senate may be our last chance to stop these bills from being implemented. The Senate Democrats could demand that this not be funded as one of their conditions for adopting a budget. Regardless, read for yourself!