Pushing away from CBAs

Reform-minded legislators in a number of states
have begun to challenge teacher evaluation and tenure practices, and
some aren’t
stopping there. Lawmakers in Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, and Tennessee
have all
recently introduced bills that would either limit the scope of
collective
bargaining to wages and benefits or ban the practice altogether.
Proponents argue
that eliminating the ability to bargain—particularly over policies such
as
class size and schedules and hours—will allow school leaders more
freedom to
set policies best fitted for their schools. In doing so, schools will be
able
to spend money in a more efficient and targeted manner. Teacher unions,
not
surprisingly, are none too keen on the idea of losing their right to be
at the
table. But any lawmakers who think they can ease the grip of teacher
unions
simply by eliminating collective bargaining should think again. As
veteran
analysts of the education politics of Right to Work states can attest,
teachers
groups simply get protections written into state law. While
collective-bargaining agreements no doubt add to the restrictions under
which most schools
and school systems operate, they’re just one piece of a larger puzzle.

States
Aim to Curb Collective Bargaining
,” by Stephen Sawchuk, Education Week, February 9, 2011.

Indiana
panel OKs bill limiting teacher bargaining
,” by Deanna Martin, Boston Globe, January 27, 2011.