IBJNews

Judge throws out Indiana teacher contract forms

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A judge has ruled that a state-pushed standard teacher contract form that would have allowed Indiana school districts to change or increase their hours without paying them more is illegal.

Marion County Judge Patrick McCarty permanently barred the Indiana Department of Education and state Superintendent Tony Bennett from using the standard forms, which all school districts would have been required to use. He said the department doesn't have any legal authority to unilaterally contradict existing contract law.

"The regular teacher's contract form drafted by Dr. Bennett is unconscionable in that it gives school corporations the authority to unilaterally modify the number of days and hours that a teacher must work, but it does not require the school corporation to pay for the additional labor or any other additional consideration," McCarty wrote in the nine-page ruling issued Sept. 11.

He said the contract form was unenforceable because it didn't set any term of employment. Establishing a minimum number of days wasn't enough, McCarty said. He also said the standard contract would have allowed districts to fire teachers at will, which violates Indiana law. He called the terms of the contract form "contradictory and vague."

A spokesman for the state education department said Tuesday that the purpose of the teacher contract form was to provide school districts with "flexibility."

"The intent of the form at issue in this case was to provide local school corporations flexibility to meet the needs of all their students," spokesman Adam Baker said. He added state education officials were considering whether to appeal the ruling.

Indiana State Teachers Association Vice President Teresa Meredith, who filed the suit along with the union, said that under the standard contract the state wanted to impose, school districts could have called teachers into work any time they desired — even if they were at another job or on vacation — and fired them if they didn't show up.

"The judge agreed that it's reasonable to know the amount of days you're required to work," Meredith said Tuesday. ISTA represents about 45,000 teachers across the state on contract issues.

The order also requires Bennett to notify all Indiana school districts not to use the new regular teacher's contract form and to forward a copy of the order to all districts as well.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

ADVERTISEMENT