Missouri House approves bill altering handling of teacher layoffs

May 3, 2012

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation changing the way school districts handle teacher layoffs.

The bill would require administrators to give top priority to performance in deciding which teachers to cut, while excluding salaries and seniority from consideration. Weight could also be given to special training and certification.

The measure needs another vote to go to the Senate, but it's not clear if will get out of the House. It takes 82 votes to pass a bill in the House, but the chamber only approved it Wednesday on a vote of 80-78.

Supporters say the bill would help ensure districts can keep their best teachers. Opponents argue the changes would cause teachers anxiety without improving schools.