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Teacher tenure debate stalls in Senate

Missouri’s Senate spent much of its debating time Tuesday on a bill to eliminate teacher tenure in the state’s public schools — but ended the day with no final decision on that plan.

Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield and sponsor of the bill, ended Tuesday’s debate after the Senate voted 17-15 to adopt an amendment creating an interim study by a “task force on teacher compensation and effectiveness” to be supervised by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education.

Cunningham later said she’ll consult with other lawmakers about what to do next — but expects to bring her bill back to the floor for further debate.

“I’m disappointed in seeing my colleagues put government employees above students,” Cunningham said of the vote adopting the amendment.

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But that really wasn’t what the vote did, said Senate Education Committee Chairman David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, who sponsored the amendment.

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