Tenure or Not? By: Brettany Sebolt

To Tenure or to not Tenure? That is the question....

  • Teacher tenure provides job security for teachers who have successfully completed a probationary period.
  • The purpose of tenure is to protect outstanding teachers from being fired for non-educational issues including personal beliefs or personality conflicts with administrators.
  • Laws pertaining to teacher tenure vary from state to state, but the overall spirit is the same.

does iowa offer teacher's tenure?

  • Teachers in Iowa are not offered teacher tenure tenure.
  • Chapter 20 of the Iowa Code governs collective bargaining between public employers and employees.
  • It lists subjects that must be bargained when developing a contract.
  • There has never been any right for a union to bargain language on discipline or discharge; even if a union proposed "teacher tenure," the school district is well within its rights to decline to even discuss the matter.
  • However, 279.15 of the Iowa Code does state that the decision to terminate a teacher shall be for "just cause."

What processes does Iowa use if they don't have tenure for teachers?

  • Iowa uses a process called "Due Process".
  • Schools must conduct classroom and teacher observations.
  • If the school feels the teacher is not performing up to their standards, they are to give the teacher the criteria that was used in making the decision for termination of their contract.
  • The law adds that the school board must offer assistance plans to help correct inadequacies in the teacher evaluation.
  • Teachers must only be dismissed with a "just cause".

Teacher tenure in Illinois

  • Under the current law, full time teachers in Illinois are eligible for tenure after completing a two year probationary period.
  • Candidates who receive a written notice of dismissal at least 45 days before the termination of their probationary period are ineligible for tenure.
  • Teacher tenure in Illinois is only based on your instructional abilities, and is awarded based on how well you teach students.
  • Tenure helps keep new teachers from taking an experienced teachers job from under them, job security.

How are they different?

  • They are different because tenure offers more stability and job security, whereas, states who do not offer tenure, teachers are evaluated and observed and are offered continuing contracts or are terminated.

Which one would I choose?

  • I feel that there are many pros and cons to both processes.
  • When reading about tenure, I feel that it not only protects the good teachers from losing their jobs, it also protects the bad teachers.
  • I also feel that tenured teachers would eventually get lazy knowing that their job is secure.
  • I believe that in a non-tenured school, teachers expect to be evaluated, therefore, want to create an engaging and powerful learning environment, not only because their job depends on it, but because they care.

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