Senators passed a bill providing school boards the option to offer more financial incentives to teachers on 26-7 vote.
Senate Bill 132 would allow districts leeway to offer a signing bonus, moving expenses, or tuition reimbursement to a teacher employed in the school district. An amendment to the bill removed a clause allowing districts to match or exceed a contract offer made to a teacher in their district from another entity without having to reopen negotiations.
The bill would not take away the collective bargaining rights of the local district’s teacher’s union.
Sen. Tim Rave, the bill’s prime sponsor, asked “why would we not give the local school boards the tools” to recruit and retain teachers?
Opponents of the bill expressed concern over its timing in the conversation of teacher pay and potential to create “winners and losers” among school districts.
Sen. Rave said the private sector, which has been noted as one of the main sources school districts lose teachers to, already has these types of financial incentive options to offer employees and potential employees and asked “why should school boards not have the same opportunities?”
ASBSD supports SB 132, which now moves to the House for review.