That seems to be the over-arching message from the Tennessee General Assembly as they continue to advance legislation designed to prevent those who disagree with the current “ed reform” agenda from having a strong voice.
The latest example is the so-called Educator Protection Act (HB645/SB604) designed to offer liability insurance to teachers at state expense. But, as Jon Alfuth notes over at Bluff City Ed, it seems the legislation has other implications:
I can only speculate, but this looks like a quiet effort to continue the drive towards making the TEA irrelevant in the state. Pass this and one of the big draws of union membership, legal protection in the case of a law suit, suddenly becomes less important. The TEA does contend that teachers would still have to rely on them for legal fees according to the link cited above, but teachers wouldn’t need the liability coverage under the TEA any more as the state would provide it. It just removes one additional reason for teachers to join the union.
Weakening TEA and also Professional Educators of Tennessee (PET) weakens the organized opposition to much of what passes as education reform – evaluations based on suspect statistical methods and vouchers, as just two examples.
This effort comes after just last week, an amendment was added to the state budget that was designed to limit local school boards in their efforts to seek more funding from the state.
The General Assembly seems to be sending a clear message to those who disagree with prevailing education policy: Trust us, and stop complaining.
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