Good riddance to another piece of Bob McDonnell’s negative, destructive, wingnut agenda for Virginia.
Senate Democrats Defeat Republican Assault on Teachers
Unified Democrats send House Bill 576 – the keystone of Gov. McDonnell’s agenda – back to committee, killing it for the year
Today, Senate Democrats defeated HB 576, dubbed the “fire the teacher bill,” by sending it back to committee for the year, on a bipartisan vote of 23 to 17.
HB 576 would cripple Virginia’s ability to recruit the best teachers and “give Virginia principals some of the broadest powers in the nation to remove teachers from the classroom,” according to The Washington Post. HB 576 – the crucial part of Gov. McDonnell’s agenda – extends probation to five years and replaces continuing contracts with three-year contracts.
Senator Philip Puckett (D-Russell) said, “As a former teacher and elementary school principal, I am offended that some of my colleagues have called some teachers “lemons.” That language insults me. When I was a new teacher, I wasn’t as good as I could be. Plenty of people helped me improve. When I became a principal, I remembered the people who helped me – and I worked to help my teachers.”
“This bill does nothing but kick teachers in the teeth. I am willing to bet we can do better than that. Virginia can do better than that. I am standing up for the teachers. And it’s time Virginia stands up for our teachers, and our schools. They are dealing with our most precious asset, our children, and it’s time we treat them with respect,” added Senator Puckett.
Senator Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said, “I come from an area that prides itself on its schools. When teachers aren’t effective, the best schools train those teachers. You don’t just can them. You work with them. You help them improve.”
Only three Republicans joined Senate Democrats in voting against the bill.