California tenure issue unlikely to hit Wyoming

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jun. 16, 2014 at 3:11 p.m.



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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Any ripple effect from a recent ruling by a California judge against that state's tenure system for public-school teachers is unlikely to hit Wyoming, where teachers don't have tenure in the first place.

Wyoming does allow for teachers to have continuing contracts, under which teachers may be terminated only for job-related reasons, said Wyoming Education Association President Kathy Vetter.

Such reasons can include incompetence, neglect of duty, immorality, insubordination, failure to perform duties or being physically incapable to do the job, the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/1i52BFe).

Teachers can get contracts with their districts after working successfully through a three-year probationary period.

"Once you get a continuing contract, you have due-process rights, which means you can only be terminated for job-related reasons," Vetter said. "Prior to that, you don't have the due-process rights."

Due-process rights, she said, allow teachers to better focus on doing their jobs.

Last week, a judge in Los Angeles sided with nine students who sued to overturn a California law establishing tenure, saying the system drove excellent new teachers from the classroom too soon and kept incompetent senior ones.

Teacher tenure became established in several states to protect teachers from being fired based on factors such as their gender, nationality or political beliefs. Critics say tenure often makes firing ineffective teachers too difficult.

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Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, http://www.wyomingnews.com

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The Associated Press

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