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Lawmaker Supports Former Opponent’s Teacher Dismissal Bill

Samantha Oltman | March 22, 2013

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State Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) announced Thursday that he was shelving SB 10, his controversial bill intended to speed up and streamline the teacher dismissal process in California public schools.

Now, Padilla plans to join forces with Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), head of the Assembly’s Education Committee, who introduced her own alternative teacher dismissal bill this week.

Buchanan might seem like an unexpected ally for Padilla, given that Buchanan voted no (along with fellow Democrat Tom Ammiano) on the previous version of Padilla’s bill, SB 1530, which was endorsed by LAUSD and opposed by UTLA.

Buchanan and Padilla say they will work together to pass AB 375, which shares some of SB 10’s key provisions, such as permitting teacher dismissal during the summer and allowing the use of evidence that is older than four years.

In a statement released to LA School Report, Buchanan said she opposed SB 1530 last year because its focus on teachers who abuse students was too limited:

“The dismissal process takes too much time and is too costly for all types of dismissals.  We need a better process that works for everyone – one that is fair, ensures due process, and can be done in a timely and cost-effective manner.”

It remains unclear at this point whether the Buchanan legislation is as rigorous as the Padilla proposal. EdSource has a good analysis of the two bills; read the story here. Or, see the full text of SB 10 here and the draft text of AB 375 here. However, cooperation between Padilla and Buchanan could mean AB 375 has a better chance of passing.

Previous posts:  Richard Bloom Criticizes Betsy Butler For SB 1530 VoteWhere’s UTLA Stand on Teacher Removal?;

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