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Crime and Courts
Local coverage of education issues, health care, and science and technology.

Kansas Supreme Court Hears Challenge To Anti-Tenure Law

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The largest teachers union in the state is asking the Kansas Supreme Court to overturn a law making it easier to fire teachers.

The 2014 bill took away a teacher’s right to an impartial hearing before being fired. Under a previous law, after three years, teachers were awarded that protection under the previous law.

At a hearing today, the union said lawmakers violated the state Constitution, which says bills can only contain one subject. KNEA General Counsel David Schauner says lawmakers improperly took a school funding bill and added the provision stripping tenure.

“There was never a hearing on this employment bill. It was never a bill," he said. "In the 11th hour, literally 2 o'clock in the morning, this provision appeared."

Solicitor General Stephen McAllister, arguing for the state, says what lawmakers did was proper because all the provisions of the bill dealt with education.

“KNEA cannot really make an argument that everything in HB2506 does not really relate to education. It does,” McAllister said.

There’s no timetable for the justices to hand down their ruling in the lawsuit.