Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Schools Weeding Out Veteran Teachers to Save Money?

In a well-run school district with strong administration, a good teacher never has anything to worry about. At least that is my general assumption about my profession. However, stories creep out every once in a while that reinforce the reasons teacher associations hold tightly to tenure, due process, seniority, and other standards of teacher contracts. Because, we've all heard rumors and accusations that school districts seek to save money by dumping veteran teachers in search of young, inexperienced, and ultimately cheaper staff.

That's the charge coming out of Denver Public Schools, according to veteran teacher Cynthia Masters.

I've heard similar stories of teacher turnover recently from different school districts. And in one particular district, I have no doubt the superintendent has intentionally sought a younger and younger staff that he could control while keeping costs down. Of course, there are bad apples in any profession, and it shouldn't surprise us that these stories occasionally surface. However, as school districts face increasingly tight budgets, and the public perception of teachers and government workers continues to plummet, the attrition of veteran teachers to save money is a situation to watch for very carefully.

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