Kansas lawmakers are considering a bill that would change the way schools could negotiate contracts with teachers.
In the first few days of this legislative session, lawmakers have proposed bills targeting public sector unions and Tuesday focused on teachers.
House Bill 2085 drew teachers unions, school board presidents and advocates from the metro to Topeka, KS, Tuesday.
"They're going to try and silence our political voice," said Nancy Fritz, the Shawnee Mission School's National Education Association president, said.
Fritz is the president of the teacher's union for Shawnee Mission schools and said the bill, which aims to eliminate one exclusive collective bargaining unit in districts, destroys the voice of thousands of educators.
"That is the only avenue teachers have in order to work out any concerns we might have for working conditions, salary, hours things like that."
Olathe School Board President Amy Martin testified against one part of the bill which gives boards sole authority on evaluation procedures.
"Right now I feel that our board is a part of a team and that team includes our teachers and our administrators. I think the legislation will go a long way to change that feel. I believe it will exclude teachers from the table," Martin said.
Labor Committee Chairman Marvin Kleeb from Overland Park, KS, said the bill simply gives the tools school administrators have asked for behind closed doors.
"We have to remember, in the private sector, all this happens anyways. We're kind of hung up on this negotiation thing," Kleeb said.
Lawmakers compared teachers' unions to a monopoly, unfairly dominating public money, but Kleeb denies the new proposed legislation has anything to do with destroying the union.
"This bill is meant to assist our school boards, our superintendents and our administrators in the administration of their schools - to enhance the educational opportunities to their children," he said.
House Bill 2085 challenges the 43-year-old Professional Negotiations Act that Kansas passed to avoid chaotic contract negotiations. It could take weeks before the committee votes on the bill.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Friday, May 24 2013 7:40 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:40:51 GMT
It was a wild night after a liquor store robber shoved two people into a cooler, got into a shootout with police and drove the wrong way on Interstate 70 before crashing into a Fed-Ex truck.The suspect,More >
It was a wild night after a liquor store robber shoved two people into a cooler, got into a shootout with police and drove the wrong way on Interstate 70 before crashing into a Fed-Ex truck.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:57 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:57:02 GMT
A massive tornado was carving its way through town. There was no time to hesitate. LaTisha Garcia had to get to her children. And so she raced against the storm. She had 30 miles to cover from her jobMore >
A massive tornado was carving its way through town. There was no time to hesitate. LaTisha Garcia had to get to her children.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:30 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:30:51 GMT
The Lafayette County Prosecutor has charged the father of a 10-week-old baby with her violent death.Alex Anthony Gilbert, 24, of Independence was charged with second-degree murder. His daughter died fourMore >
The Lafayette County Prosecutor has charged the father of a 10-week-old baby with her violent death.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 2:25 PM EDT2013-05-24 18:25:33 GMT
A golf cart accident at Lake Quivira Country club has left two people with injuries. The accident occurred around 8:30 p.m. Thursday evening. Authorities tell us at least one of the victims will be transportedMore >
A golf cart accident at Lake Quivira Country club has left two teen girls with injuries.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 5:23 PM EDT2013-05-24 21:23:39 GMT
Police are investigating whether a person being shot in the chest is connected to a home invasion robbery.Two men attempted to burst into a home in the 106 block of Greenwood Road when shots were fired.More >
A woman fired shots at three men attempting to break into her home, and one of the suspects was shot in the chest, police said. Her husband described the harrowing ordeal. More >
Dan Sligh and his wife were in their pickup truck on Interstate 5 heading to a camping trip when a bridge before them disappeared in a "big puff of dust."More >
The trucker was hauling drilling equipment when his load bumped against the steel framework over an Interstate 5 bridge. He looked in his rearview mirror and watched in horror as the span collapsed into the water behind him....More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:44 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:44:12 GMT
Police are investigating after elementary school kids in Johnson County allegedly had $30,000 stolen from them. Families at Valley Park Elementary, which is located off of West 123rd Street in OverlandMore >
Police are investigating after elementary school kids in Johnson County allegedly had $30,000 stolen from them.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 7:31 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:31:26 GMT
A nurse who serves on the Kauffman Stadium K-crew was able to revive a 14-year-old girl who collapsed during Thursday night's game.The girl was dancing in the upper-deck stands when she suddenly collapsed.More >
A nurse who serves on the Kauffman Stadium K-crew was able to revive a 14-year-old girl who collapsed during Thursday night's game.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 2:17 PM EDT2013-05-24 18:17:17 GMT
A water main break in south Kansas City left two churches and about 20 homes without water Friday.Kansas City water crews hope to have water restored later Friday. The 6-inch water main broke about 7 a.m.More >
A water main break in south Kansas City left two churches and about 20 homes without water Friday.More >