Covering the Tenure Reform debate from the floor of the House of Representatives. Listen to live audio from the debate HERE.
SB 310 is called by the clerk. Rep Chad Fincher begins intro of the Students First Act
Dem Representative Coleman on the floor to comment on the bill. Democrats are now distributing their “poison pill” amendments. Looks like the real action happens soon.
Alvin Holmes: “This white lady called me and said, “before I go any further, I’m going to let you know that I’m a white lady…” Says it all.
Alvin Holmes tries to carry over the bill and delay a vote. Motion fails 57-37. Democrats are likely trying to pinpoint which members to target for future votes. 57 is a healthy number, and we had a few votes to spare.
Democrat Representative Kennedy opposing the Students First Act. Dems maintain that tenure reform is not a priority issue- that the status quo works.
Dems continue to falsely question SB 310 on the basis that it will eliminate pay for a dismissed individual for an unlimited amount of time during the appeals process. Representative Fincher has clarified multiple times that this bill includes severance pay of up to 75 days, which allows teachers to receive pay through the appeals process.
Democrats are bringing their first amendment after Representative Ford speaks on the bill.
After some debate, Representative Fincher motions to table the amendment. Motion carries 54 to 48, and the amendment is tabled.
Democrat Representative Jackson asks Representative Fincher if he would work in a job if he didn’t have any “security”. Representative Fincher responds: “I do now. I always have.” Rep Jackson continues to argue that SB 310 removes due process. WRONG. SB 310 guarantees the right to appeal, whereas under the current law, dismissed individuals have NO automatic right to appeal.
Democrats offer another amendment regarding RIF. Motion to lay amendment on the table passed by 58 to 44.
Dem Representative Lindsey offers an amendment regarding teacher’s salaries. Amendment is designed to confuse the legislation of SB 310. Representative Fincher motions to table the amendment. Amendment is tabled after a vote.
Odd amendment offered by Democrat Representative Morrow saying that a teacher will be automatically terminated if an educator teaches a student about homosexuality. This has nothing to do with SB 310- it is being used as a political tool and a smear tactic, to try get Republicans on the record to vote against it. The amendment was ruled not germane on a 70-10 vote.
Amendment from Dem Rep Rogers tabled
Final passage on SB310. 56-43 SB310 Passes!