The Kansas National Education Association today filed suit in Shawnee County District Court against the state of Kansas over legislation that limit teachers’ due process rights.
Parts of House Bill 2506 came under criticism during the legislative session from the KNEA and from Wyandotte County Democratic legislators. The lawsuit does not apply to any of the financial portions of HB 2506, according to KNEA information. The law also contained school funding provisions.
House Bill 2506 canceled provisions in the previous law that allowed teachers with tenure to have hearings before they could be terminated. School districts are still allowed to have due process hearings for teachers, but they are not required to have them. The Kansas City, Kan., Public School district said previously it would still have due process hearings for teachers.
The KNEA earlier announced that it believes that parts of the bill that stripped due process “were enacted by an improper procedure and that they improperly deprive teachers of a basic expectation of fairness in termination decisions.”
“Today’s lawsuit by the KNEA is little more than an exercise in labor union politics,” Gov. Sam Brownback said in a news release responding to the lawsuit. “Kansas has high quality, well-funded schools and I signed HB 2506 to keep it that way. I am concerned this misdirected lawsuit may cast doubt on, or unwittingly endanger, school funding just as classrooms are convening all across Kansas.”
The case is Kansas National Education Association vs. state of Kansas, 2014-CV-000789 in Shawnee County District Court.