Tuesday, June 10, 2014
LaJuana and I both posted on Vergara v. California (here and here) earlier this spring. The lawsuit alleged that statutes that keep ineffective teachers in place violate students' fundamental right to education (under the state constitution) by subjecting students to subpar educational opportunity. According to LA School Report, the judge agreed this morning:
It was a total win for the plaintiffs in Vergara v California, giving them a victory on all counts in the case, aimed at striking down five laws that govern tenure, seniority and dismissal. Judge Rolf Treu stayed any changes in the laws, pending appeals.
The decision is temporary, and final judgement may take as long as 30 days, depending upon any changes or modifications to the ruling.
Teacher tenure lawsuits have dominated recent events. Just yesterday, I posted on North Carolina's. California's suit, however, is distinct. In California, the court decision is saying that giving teacher's extensive tenure protections is unconstitutional. In North Carolina, the court held that taking those rights away from teachers is unconstitutional. Tomorrow I will post on another lawsuit in Texas similar to North Carolina's. All of these cases will eventually be decided by higher courts. Although in different jurisdictions, the challenge will be developing coherent doctrine that does not create intractable positions between teacher rights, student rights, and policy developments. No easy trick.