Teachers dress in black to protest lawmaker plans

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - From the classroom to the capitol, don't be surprised if you see a "black-out" Friday.

Many teachers are fired up about how they feel they're being mistreated by some lawmakers and are dressed in black to protest. Many teachers say elected officials are asking them to do more with less, and they say this could hurt students.

One of those changes has to do with their contracts. Some lawmakers want to start a three-year plan and eventually stop the tenure-like system — which could also make it easier to hire and let go of teachers.

However, some lawmakers say most of the teachers in continuing contracts now will not lose them. The proposal could also see more teacher reviews and focus on students' testing.

Opponents say some of these changes punctures job security and may even keep new teachers from applying. Teachers with the Virginia Education Association also complain some of the changes could result in cuts to retirement benefits.

State leaders say they need to give educators certain goals on standards so students can receive a better education. Many are worried teachers could apply to other states since they still have continuing contracts.

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