Ritter to Sign Controversial Teacher Tenure Bill

May 2010

A bill that aims to tie teacher retention to student improvement is headed to Governor Bill Ritter's desk—and the governor plans to sign it, according to 9News. The bill passed the Senate on the final day of the 2010 state legislative session yesterday in a 27-8 vote, after the House passed the same version in a more contentious 36-29 vote, with many Democrats opposed. The point of the bill, says Senator Michael Johnston, a Denver Democrat and co-sponsor, is to "let the educators of the state show you that wherever a child comes from, when they walk into the kindergarten classroom in the state of Colorado, we will promise them that 13 years later they will be ready for college and ready for career."

Under the proposed law, teachers who receive "ineffective" ratings twice in a row could lose their tenure and possibly their jobs (via The Denver Post). Proponents argue the bill will enable the state to grab millions of grant dollars through the federal Race to the Top education-reform program. But teachers say the measure relies too heavily on tests and scapegoats educators for problems possibly beyond their control. Fox 31 takes a stroll down recent-legislation memory lane, noting many of the key, passed measures, including the removal of some tax exemptions and credits. And the Colorado Springs Gazette recalls how schools have struggled for funding and how the state passed controversial rules regulating the medical marijuana industry.