Perdue signs bill restoring teacher appeal rights -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Perdue signs bill restoring teacher appeal rights

June 4 , 2003

(Atlanta-AP) -- With the stroke of a pen, Governor Perdue today overturned one of the most controversial education reforms enacted by the man he defeated last November, and restored teacher rights to appeal when their contracts are not renewed.

Among the provisions of former Governor Roy Barnes' education bill was one eliminating the right to a hearing for dismissed teachers who had been hired after July first, 2000. Barnes argued it would help school systems remove poor teachers.

 It was an unpopular step with teachers and many supported Perdue in last year's election as a result of that and other portions of the Barnes reform bill. Perdue said "This is a huge signal to let the teachers of this state know that we're all in this together. They have an important job, they've got a hard job."

He added "We're going to do the right thing and pay the respect back to our educators and say, if you're doing a good job you shouldn't be penalized by a process that may not be fair."

As passed by the Legislature, the measure included an amendment providing a five percent pay raise for teachers whose students showed a "significant increase" in test scores, although money to pay for it was not included in the budget.

Perdue said he didn't think that anyone is under the illusion that the state is fiscally able to implement that provision.

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