New Jersey School Board Association’s Frank Belluscio responds to NJEA’s reform package:
While expediting the tenure hearing process would have some benefit, it doesn’t get to the root of the situation… NJSBA supports replacing the current system of lifetime tenure with renewable contracts, with continuation of tenure based on performance. Tenure was established in 1909. Since then, a body of case law and statute has developed that protects teachers from arbitrary dismissal and discrimination. Plus, collective bargaining in education–not a factor when the tenure laws were enacted–provides additional protection in areas such as disciplinary procedures and grievance arbitration.
There are public policy issues, including class size, that should be determined in an open public meeting, rather than behind closed doors in negotiations. They should be deliberated upon by school boards, which represent the public, in public. These education policy decisions should be based on the recommendation of the administration, and not be subject to the give-and-take (or armed warfare) of negotiations.