Unions Ask Court to Dismiss ‘Bad Teacher’ Suit
LA School Report | September 30, 2013
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The state of California and its two biggest teachers unions are asking a state Superior Court to throw out a case about getting rid of “ineffective teachers,” saying passage of a bill now before Gov. Jerry Brown would make the lawsuit unnecessary.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs responded by calling the request a “sham,” arguing that the measure, AB 375, would do nothing to address dismissal and tenure laws that protect problem teachers and deny students a quality education — a guarantee of the state Constitution. The unions named in the case, Vergara v. California, are the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers.
“AB 375 has no impact on the legal claims” in the case, said Marcellus Antonio McRae, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. “Even worse, AB 375 does nothing to protect California’s children in the classroom.”
The bill before Brown would establish new protocols for dismissing teachers. But the plaintiffs contend that it would do nothing to change state laws that they contend give little weight to teacher quality in decisions regarding employment.
Critics of AB 375 also say passage would make it more difficult for school districts to remove teachers who sexually or physically abuse students.
The lawsuit is aimed at amending one law that grants tenure after just two years of teaching, three laws governing the rules of dismissal and one that invokes a last-in-first-out protocol for staff reductions.
Barring a decision by the court to throw the case out, a trial is scheduled to start in late January.