Knox School Board President Discusses School Vouchers; Tenure

Harold Welter

Knox Community School Board President, Harold Welter, is in today to talk about education and the changes in the proposed Education Reform package.

He was asked about vouchers.

“You’re competing for dollars,” said Welter. “Dick Wagner pointed that out in an earlier interview that we’re competing for dollars and a lot of parents are saying, ‘Hey, we want to have the choice.’ Again, I don’t have a problem with that. It’s a competitive world out there and we are going to compete. We’re going to make sure that Knox Community Schools are the best they can be and that is going to draw students to us, not just because we’re Knox, but because we have programs that are going to be very, very beneficial to the students.”

Harold was asked if tenure is helpful to teachers, school boards, and students.

“Tenure is a situation where you’re always dealing with, as a Board, the standpoint of evaluating teachers,” he replied. “In effect, a teacher for two years is considered semi-permanent. Once they get through their second year, there are only a limited number of things they can be discharged for. So, the tenure that actually starts in year five, really starts in year three. Again, one of the problems with that is, sometimes you can’t evaluate a teacher in just a year or two. Sometimes you have those who are going to take three or four or five years for them to get into the flow of things, but they have the potential to be really good teachers. Under the current system, if they don’t pan out in year one, you probably should let them go.”

Harold explains what he feels would be a better situation than tenure.

“If you are able to, without having a lifetime commitment to that teacher and if you’re able to say that we can work with this teacher for two, three, or four years and they’re going to get better, that would certainly be a better situation for the teacher, for the students and for the Corporation.”

Harold Welter will talk further about education in tomorrow’s news.