Ostmeyer: Teacher tenure changes will put decision at local level (VIDEO)

sam sternbergBy BECKY KISER
Hays Post

Kansas National Education Association officials say the union might consider a lawsuit to determine if the state can take away tenure rights of teachers.

Silent protesters supporting Kansas teachers rallied in Hays on Wednesday afternoon prior to public appearances by Gov. Sam Brownback and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer.

teachers at sternbergAt issue is a provision in the school funding bill signed Monday by Brownback.  While increasing funding for public education, the measure also reduces the due process rights of teachers if they are fired by a school district.

Republican 40th District Sen. Ralph Ostmeyer, Grinnell, voted for the bill.

“I wish it (the tenure process) wasn’t tied to the funding package,” he said, “but I like that it puts it back on the local level — local school boards will make the decision. My experience has been, you better take the plan you’ve got because the next one may not be as good”:

Ostmeyer has two children and a daughter-in-law who are teachers.

  • Not my vote

    ‘you better take the plan you’ve got because the next one may not be as good’ That’s the line you come up with???? How about this one- ‘Give the schools funding with NOTHING else tied to it’. I like that one a whole lot! For the politicians who can’t get it together and do what’s right for our schools and teachers, I hope you don’t get voted in again.

    • situveux1

      Another one might be ‘Give us the money and no oversight or accountability or else.’

      • Resident

        There is oversight. They can be fired for job performance, drugs, not putting in required hours, etc. Unlike other jobs, when you are a teacher, you have to deal with parents who think their kids all deserve ‘A’s or should be granted a certain GPA so they can be eligible for sports. Tenure helps them from being fired for just any old reason or because someone in town is a big name and just wants you to lose your job. Do some research before posting.

  • fun

    Great, now kiser will post this story 5 times, featuring someone new talking about it. It’d be great if there was actually new info each time….

  • Good Question?

    I wonder who was teaching these teachers classes while they were out protesting?

    • guest

      They probably used one of their personal leave days to go to this. There’s something called ‘substitute teachers.’ May have heard of this.

      • Guest

        It was after school. There were no students or classes at that time.

      • yahooserious

        yeah cause i have NEVER EVER HAD A VACATION day… EVER.. heh.. I really love lazy arguments.

    • yahooserious

      I hope it was a GOVERNMENT TEACHER … teaching about the right to protest.. gave us our current “workman comp” rights, gave us a lot of things. I guess you don’t understand what it is to stand up for your rights.. THANK GOD OUR TEACHERS DO!!! Thank god for the blue people in our sate.. or the f*cking idiot morrons who accept anything the sate tells them will be the norm.

      • yahooserious

        Jesus help me, please. .. I live in a black hole of information.

    • yahooserious

      but yeah.. that a “Good Question?” f*cking idiot

  • Great job!

    This is great for Kansas. The classrooms get more money and they restored control to local school boards.

    • NOT!

      bwah hahahaha HAHAHA!

    • Keep tenure in KS

      Wrong by far. Teachers don’t want to come here as it is. Dead old Western Kansas with debt problems, no water, no decent restaurants or discount stores, super high priced housing, and now no tenure. Good luck attracting quality people. Only those desperate or with something to hide will apply with 489!

  • Curtis Unrein

    Ralph you really ought to decided to not worry about your votes and shut down the irrigation out west so some of us have water to drink. If dryland farming is good enough for the majority of the state it should be good enough for those folks as well. Oh yes but those are votes you have in your pocket and have had for some time. One day, all of government will wake up……………….but by the time that happens it will be too late.

  • bobber

    Ralph I’m sure your two kids and daughter-in-law who are teachers are real proud of this decision you voted for. wait till their local super pops them out of a job because little johnny didn’t get the grade mommy and daddy were hoping for. then ralph will say “gosh, that ain’t fair”.

    • guest

      ralphs kids are home schooled

      makes his words even more biased

  • Grow up

    So many people quick to judge each individual decision these officials have to make, but so few people to stand up and do it themselves. If you’re going to comment and make yourself look ignorant you may want to do more in depth research, learn about the system, and about all the reasoning for the yay or nay vote. Atleast then you will be educated somewhat about it and are entitled to a real opinion. Not just read a two paragraph article on Hays Post and base everything off that. Our area of Kansas has done pretty well staying out of the rock bottom economic state that a lot of other areas are in. Changes have to be made, no one will ever agree with every one of them.

    • TommyPain

      So stripping teachers of due process rights is keeping us out of a rock bottom economic state? This is a change that needs to be made? This is nothing but retaliation aimed at public education and those who spend their lives bettering the next generation. The only economic link is to try to silence the KNEA from funding their nonALEC opponents. Many Republicans have assumed wrongly that teachers, especially in Western KS, are all union members and mindlessly vote Democrat. Many conservative teachers and their families are going to vote for the moderate R’s and D’s in the next election. Voting for that bill will hopefully send some politicians back to the farm.

      • situveux1

        Then let them vote that way. This has nothing to do with students, it has everything to do with unions. I’m so sick of people thinking the KNEA has a students best interests in mind. Get real, they have their members best interests in mind and nothing more.

        • TommyPain

          You’re right the STUDENTS will get to keep their favorite teachers. You know, the one’s who give lots of A’s and spend most of the hour discussing who is dating and who broke up. Now that “bad” teacher who has the guts to fail them for plagiarism when it would make them ineligible for the league tournament, they can get rid of that teacher. Most teachers in Ostmeyer’s district aren’t KNEA, they don’t want to hide behind “tenure” so they can sit and read the paper. They just do not want to actually have to fear the threat “my mom/dad is on the school board”.

          • situveux1

            That’s just fear-mongering. How is that any different than a doctor afraid to give a patient a prescription they know they don’t need because they might go to someone else who will? Every profession or job has such difficulties. If tenure really protected teachers like you think it does, then they’d give it as soon as they are hired. The fact there’s a three year waiting period tells me your scenario is a fantasy. Otherwise you’re telling me a student who’s teacher has only been with the district three years or less isn’t entitled to the same “quality” education you claim only tenured teachers are able to deliver.

          • TommyPain

            Lets go with your doctor scenario. To get parents involved we’ll say they are a pediatrician. Now, the practice they work in is governed by a group of seven parents of patients elected by the parents of all of their patients, no medical experience required. Publish the names and phone numbers of these elected parents and let the complaining begin. When 4 of the elected parents agree that the pediatrician should prescribe antibiotics for a viral infection, the pediatrician either does it or loses their job. If/when they lose their job, they must relocate as there are no other practices in their community. I think some of them might start prescribing antibiotics to keep parents happy. Sounds like an effective way to run a practice.

  • greg@dissapointed.seriouslydis

    is this guy for real? wtf is happening in KS? WOW!! Sue boldra.. I hope your happy you throw yourself in the lot with these ‘fellows’…. I know u voted NO.. but you still bit the bait…

  • Cliven Bundy

    Tell it like it is Ralph


    I know how to solve all our problems, vote out all moderate/ turned tea bagger and tea baggers. problem solved

  • mediareality

    It’s sad to say… it really is but the older the people get.. the more cenile.. yet the more the reley on government assitanse… I’m no Cliven Boden but i’m here to tell u I have my own plan.. and some of it may involve help when I’m 80. I’ve paid in long enuff to expecta little… f*ck u hanity, f*ck u fox. your the same insatnithy happing all over america…. f*ck u rupert murdock.

  • yeah

    i watched half this video wondering if he was going to druel from his mouth.

  • Guest

    People think teachers won’t be falsely accused or fired for unfair reasons. It has happened, that’s why the law was written. Teachers are not only falsely accused by disgruntled students, they are hit, kicked, spit at, pinched, bitten, stolen from, slandered, vandalized and attempted to be poisoned. Those are just things I know if and in other places I’m sure it is worse. Allowing teachers to know why they are being fired and asking principals/school boards to show proof, seems like a small expectation.

  • yahooserious

    Teachers.. I hope u know u brought some of this upon yourselves by the endorsment of brownback in… in… in.. oh yeah.. u never did. heh.. u stuck to your guns.. well done educators. meanwhile tenure is tripped but it’s okay.. u can carry a gun in the bar now.. all good right?

  • yahooserious

    so Ralph.. it’s okay then that state GUN laws JUST PASSED trump ,local laws? Seems to be two edge sword buddy, federal government doesn’t know what’s best for states but I guess the state knows what best for local goverments? seem to be something going on here? hmmm.. and you sold out your daughters for it…. scum bag.

  • I voted!

    The majority of Kansas voters elected these representatives. This was the people’s desire! Sorry, you NEA members don’t agree, but most Kansans feel you’ve taken too much, and we can’t afford your demands anymore! That’s why we voted for these representatives…get it!

    • Dumb voters

      We have an uninformed electorate.

    • I’m a voter too!

      NEA never has given demands. Teachers had went for years without raises due to the budget. Last year, 1/2 of what was asked for was approved. When is the last time your property taxes, gas, bills, etc went down instead of up? People with salaries do and should get raises from time to time. Tenure is to help keep teachers from being let go for nonsense reasons, like a child not getting to play ball due to a failing grade from that teacher. Tenure doesn’t protect teachers who don’t perform as required, they can still be let go.