Local teachers to join protestors Saturday in Nashville - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Local teachers to join protestors Saturday in Nashville

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC0TV) - Hundreds of teachers from Memphis and Shelby County prepared Friday for a weekend protest in Nashville.

Myrtle Malone is just one of roughly 200 local educators who will join others from across the state to protest several proposed bills that are a part of Governor Bill Haslam's plan for education reform.

"We have been silenced for too long," Malone said. "It's time for teachers to speak up and speak out."

According to Ken Foster, the executive director of the Memphis Education Association, there is a lot at stake. The greatest threat, he said, is the possibility of Tennessee taking away the right of teachers to bargain a contract in the state.

"Insurance, wages, those kinds of things, so what they're proposing and what is passed in committee in the senate is that teachers wouldn't have any bargaining rights at all," he said.

A proposal to change the state's teacher tenure system from three to five years was approved Wednesday in the Senate Education Committee, and is now headed to the full senate for a vote.

"We need security on the job," Malone said. "We don't want to just come in one day and the principal says, 'Oh, you know, I really don't like you or need you.' No. We need to have due process. That's why tenure is so important."

Malone said children will have the most to lose if teachers don't stand up and allow their voices to be heard.

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