Editorial: Fair Dismissal

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Last week the Alabama Legislature passed and Governor Bentley signed into law the "Students First" Tenure and Fair Dismissal Reform Act.

This new law preserves tenure protection for teachers while giving local school systems the authority to fire ineffective teachers and problem employees for justifiable causes.

Proponents of the new law say it removes the costly and time-consuming federal arbitration process for termination appeals. Under the law, retired judges would hear the appeal, and an employee's pay would continue for a maximum of 75 days during the review. This law would prevent long drawn out proceedings that drain local school boards budgets at a time when they are at critical lows.

To be clear, the goal is not to speed up the removal process of bad teachers or school employees to save money but to speed up the process to improve the educational environment for our children. Laws should be in place to protect the hardworking dedicated teachers of Alabama and quickly show to the door those who are not committed to the highest standards in teaching. Any law that allows for the quick and expeditious removal of underperforming employees should be supported especially when our children are involved.

We welcome your feedback.

Copyright 2011 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.