Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam released the following statement after the Tennessee House of Representatives passed tenure reform bill SB 1528/HB 2012, 65-32. The amended bill will now go back to the Senate for concurrence.
The legislation changes a teacher's probationary period before becoming eligible for tenure from three to five years as well as links tenure status to performance evaluations, among other changes.
"I want to thank those in the House and Senate who have supported tenure reform, especially those legislators who helped lead the effort.
"As a state we have to treat teaching like the honorable and important profession it is and make Tennessee a place where great educators feel rewarded and appreciated for their efforts.
"Nothing makes as much of a difference in a child's education as the teacher at the front of the classroom, and this tenure proposal is an important next step following last year's bipartisan effort that led to the First to the Top legislation and the Race to the Top award. We have many great teachers in Tennessee, and we can have even more.
"If our goal in education is to grow the number of college graduates and provide a better educated work force for employers looking to relocate or expand in Tennessee, then our effort begins with making sure every child in every classroom learns from a great teacher."