Education law is constantly changing to reflect changes in technology and the way children learn. While these new laws are set to help children acquire a better education, legal guidelines related to education can make paperwork and compliance a difficult task for public school administrators. Here are the five recent changes in education law that are sure to impact schools the most.
Federal programs that provide funding to schools require states to pass laws related to mandatory teacher evaluations in order to qualify. These evaluations require school administrators to observe each teacher during a class period in order to determine whether the teacher is properly adhering to academic guidelines set forth by the federal government. Recommendations are made based on these observations, and it is possible for a teacher to be terminated due to a poor evaluation.
Collective Bargaining Bans
While bans on collective bargaining for educators have only been passed in five states, teachers working in states that have banned the negotiating tool are concerned about the impact that these bans will have on their work environment.
Public schools may see a slight drop in attendance as states continue to pass legislation that allows low-income families to be granted vouchers to use at private schools. Each state that offers vouchers to students sets forth the guidelines that must be met in order for a student to be considered eligible. Income level is usually the determining factor for voucher eligibility.
There have been regulations in place in the public school system that require administrators to fire teachers who have been on staff the shortest amount of time when budget cuts must be made. However, states including Illinois have done away with these regulations. It has now been recognized that seniority in the classroom does not necessary mean quality.
States that have enacted a merit pay system have done so in an attempt to increase the quality of education across the board. Teachers working in these states are paid according to their students’ performance. Low test grades and high rates of student absence will lead to lower pay for teachers, and states that use this method of paying teachers hope that teachers will be motivated to perform.
Recent changes in education law impact the lives of teachers, students and administrators working in the public school system. It is important for administrators to consult an attorney to ensure compliance with these laws.