OEA Disappointed with Loss of Trial De Novo

Gov. Mary Fallin signed HB 1380 into law yesterday, eliminating a career teacher's right to appeal dismissal to district court. The following statement can be attributed to Oklahoma Education Association President Linda Hampton:

"We are disappointed but not surprised that the Governor signed HB 1380 into law yesterday. It is unfortunate that now a teacher's job will be decided by a school board which is a political body and by people who could have personal agendas. We also believe the new process will create unwanted conflict within local communities. Oklahoma teachers deserve fair due process on job related matters.

"Perhaps the most regrettable issue is that the taxpayers have been misled. On average, less than five cases annually go through the appeals process. Of the nearly 40,000 members OEA represents, we had zero trial de novo cases last year.Trial de novo is neither a long nor expensive process. By law, the cases must be resolved within 63 days and the costs for our side usually don't exceed $10,000. That will change with the enactment of HB 1380 and these cases will now be lengthier and more costly to litigate.

"The bill is nothing more than a campaign talking point that will do little to impact educational outcomes of our students. It is insulting to every teacher to perpetuate the image that Oklahoma's classrooms are filled with ineffective teachers just to pass a bill."


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