Pro Teacher Bill Vetoed By Wolf
Governor Wolf continues to resist any reforms that would change the Pennsylvania education system.
This past Wednesday, Governor Wolf vetoed legislation designed to keep the best teachers in Pennsylvania’s classrooms and boost student achievement by ending the practice of seniority-based layoffs.
In Pennsylvania, teacher layoffs are conducted in order of inverse seniority.
The last teacher hired is the first person fired, regardless of job performance.
Pennsylvania is one of only a few states that require seniority to be the sole factor in determining layoffs.
With the Governor’s action, our Commonwealth will continue this backward approach.
House Bill 805, known as the Protecting Excellent Teachers Act, would have ensured that school districts use teacher performance to guide furlough and reinstatement decisions.
Performance ratings would have been based on the comprehensive statewide educator evaluation system adopted in 2012, under which observed educators are assigned a rating of distinguished, proficient, needs improvement or failing.
House Bill 805 prohibited school districts from using a teacher’s pay and benefits as determining factors for any layoff decision.
I co-sponsored the Senate version of this measure because a child’s education matters more than union tradition.
Governor Wolf’s refusal to enact pension reform means there will be more teacher furloughs in the future, as school districts trim personnel costs to balance their budgets.
And his refusal to sign House Bill 805 means some of our most dedicated, energetic teachers will continue to be the ones losing their jobs.
Not a surprise to anyone, the PSEA – Pennsylvania State Education Association – the teachers’ union, was out lobbying against this bill in full force when the House and Senate voted on this important piece of legislation.
It is clear that Governor Wolf and his public sector union friends at the PSEA have formed a unified partnership to snuff out any positive developments for the children in our schools and the taxpayers that pay for the education system.