- HB 2179 would re-enact the teacher due process or fair dismissal law that was in effect in Kansas prior to 2014.
- Bill has 45 bipartisan co-sponsors.
- This is an opportunity for the legislature to tell Kansas teachers that the war on teachers is over.
- House Bill 2048, known as “Erin’s Law,” as introduced would have required training for teachers in the identification of signs of child sexual abuse.
- Bill amended in committee, SBOE must implement statewide standards for training teachers annually.
- Final action vote tomorrow.
Due Process Bill Gets Hearing Tomorrow
The House Education Committee will hold a hearing on HB 2179, the bill that restores due process protections to Kansas teachers.
HB 2179 would re-enact the teacher due process or fair dismissal law that was in effect in Kansas prior to 2014.
In the 2014 legislative session, the repeal of this statute was never proposed as a bill. The proposal was never subject to a public hearing. And the proposal did not have broad legislative support even in a legislature that would be considered far more conservative than now.
The repeal of the due process statute came as a Senate floor amendment to an education budget bill in the wee hours of an April morning. And by wee hours, we’re talking about past midnight just for clarification. Other policy provisions that had failed either in committee or on the floor as stand-alone bills were also dumped into the education budget bill. The conference committee negotiators who were among the minority of legislators who supported these ideas, refused to remove them. They wound up in the education budget conference committee report brought before the full House long after midnight of a second 22-hour day.
At that time, the education bill failed to get the needed 63 vote majority to pass. A call of the House was put on and the members remained locked in the chamber for several hours until the 63rd vote could be pressured into casting a vote against conscience.
This year HB 2179 would right the wrong done to teachers at that time. The bill has 45 bipartisan co-sponsors. We believe this is an opportunity for the legislature to tell Kansas teachers that the war on teachers is over. It is time to return to respect for the teaching profession and HB 2179 is the first step.
Amended Erin’s Law Advanced on House Floor
House Bill 2048, known as “Erin’s Law,” as introduced would have required training for teachers in identification of signs of child sexual abuse. As mandatory reporters, it is important that teachers know what to look for.
The bill was dramatically amended in committee and now simply calls upon the State Board of Education to “implement statewide standards that assure all public school teachers annually receive training and education on identifying likely warning signs indicating that a child may be a victim of sexual abuse.”
It additionally directs the SBOE to “review and consider statewide social and emotional standards for student education that inform students of the difference between appropriate and inappropriate conduct.”
The bill was advanced on a voice vote and will face a final action vote on the floor tomorrow.