The Senate completed its debate and amendments on SB 9 Thursday afternoon. Senate Bill 9 includes provisions for a $2,000 salary increase for classroom teachers or $6,000 for classroom teachers in smaller districts (enrollment under 20,000 students). The bill also expands the Teacher Incentive Allotment program by increasing the amounts awarded under the merit pay system, and adding a new lowest designation of “acknowledged." It includes grant funding to help smaller districts develop local designation systems to participate in TIA.
Other provisions in the bill are both good and bad — there are some changes that will help strengthen teachers’ ability to remove disruptive students, but one section eliminates a protection that TCTA got into law several years ago. That bill ensured that reporting requirements on disciplinary actions would not include teacher removals, which would have had a chilling effect on teachers’ ability to remove students from the classroom when necessary. This key protection is removed in SB 9, but TCTA is working with the bill’s author on this and other disciplinary issues.
Another part of the bill eliminates State Board of Education oversight of State Board for Educator Certification rules. That oversight benefited the teaching profession most recently when the SBOE vetoed SBEC rules requiring the use of the edTPA assessment as a performance assessment for teacher certification.
SB 9 passed the Senate on an initial 22-9 vote, with opponents citing the inadequate salary provisions as one of their areas of concern. The final vote will be held next week, and it is possible that further amendments will be proposed at that time. UPDATE: The Senate took the final vote, also 22-9, later Thursday evening, so SB 9 will be on its way to the House.