FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 18, 2012

Contact: Bill Hammond Phone: (512) 637-7701

Setting the Record Straight Lawsuit would not repeal educational standards
AUSTIN, TX— The Texas Association of Business is strongly in favor of higher standards and accountability for our schools, administrators and teachers. TAB has long backed a stringent accountability system that has helped our students, especially our minority students, make important gains in performance over the last 20 years. “The lawsuit we have entered into in no way seeks to overturn important standards that have improved education in Texas,” said Bill Hammond, TAB President and CEO. “What this lawsuit seeks to do is empower local districts with information on efficiently educating their students and free them from some of the state mandates that can needlessly increase costs.” Part of the high cost of education can be traced back to the contract system for teachers, which includes endless and expensive appeals if a school district wants to fire an underperforming teacher. It is that contract system that the Texas State Teacher’s Association is trying to protect and the reason it is attacking the lawsuit supported by TAB. “If there is a teacher that is truly underperforming and not getting the job done local school districts should have the right to dismiss that teacher without spending more money in the dismissal process than they would on that teacher’s salary,” said Hammond. “It costs close to $90,000 to dismiss a bad teacher in the Houston ISD. That could almost pay the salary of two high performing teachers.” “We believe in local control with accountability,” said Hammond. “As long as there is a strong accountability system to show school districts are doing a good job educating our children we think those districts should be able to set policies that efficiently spend the money they are getting from the state, and from local property taxes. School districts have their work cut out for them to increase the number of career and college ready graduates and decrease the number of students dropping out. We feel they can better achieve those goals if they have a little more freedom in making financial and personnel decisions in the same way business does.” ### Founded in 1922, the Texas Association of Business is a broad-based, bipartisan organization representing more than 3,000 small and large Texas employers and 200 local chambers of commerce.
1209 Nueces • Austin, Texas 78701 512.477.6721 • 512.477.0836 fax • www.txbiz.org

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