Teacher tenure bill defeated in Assembly

teachersOn Thursday, the California Assembly Appropriations Committee voted to hold Assembly Bill 753, in effect killing the bill for this legislative session.

AB753 is authored by Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, and would expand the scope of the tenure system to teachers working in small school districts, as well as certificated employees working in non-teaching positions. Employees of school districts and county offices of education with more than 250 average days of attendance would only have to be employed for two consecutive years and be re-employed for a third year to qualify for permanent employee status.

Preliminary analysis of the bill from the Appropriations Committee revealed this bill would have an effect on at least 17 county offices of education and 250 school districts in California.

The California Teachers Association wrote in support of the bill:

“Under the Education Code, permanent employees can only be terminated for just-cause or as part of a layoff. Unfortunately, several classes of certificated education employees have been inappropriately denied permanent status based on the need to create fiscal solvency or in anticipation that the need for services into the future was insecure; there are currently systems in place to appropriately reduce staffing if needed. AB753 will remedy this situation treating all certificated education employees with dignity, respect, and professionalism.”

However, the statute is technically unconstitutional based on the landmark Vergara decision by a California Superior Court.

“AB753 flew in the face of the Superior Court ruling in Vergara and defied all logic by seeking to expand the very system the court found to be unconstitutional and harmful to California’s students and teachers,” wrote Students Matter Policy Director Ben Austin in a press release. “We thank Committee Chair Jimmy Gomez and members of the Appropriations Committee for listening to the will of California voters and the state’s court system. This vote is a watershed moment for the California Assembly — standing up to the most powerful special interests and with the vast majority of California parents, children and educators who want ‘kids first’ change.”

A recent poll from USC Dornsife and L.A. Times demonstrate that Californians “take a dim view of teacher tenure” and many believe that “teachers receive tenure much too quickly.” Another poll from Teach Plus found that most teachers “highly value tenure but strongly support making tenure a more performance-based, professional benchmark.”

5 comments

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  1. Ronald Stein
    Ronald Stein 29 May, 2015, 13:23

    Support for “tenure” for teachers is blatantly discriminatory as he is not supportive of tenured job protection for other occupations.

    Performance from TENURED teachers is irrelevant for their guaranteed jobs! Tenured teachers are NOT required to teach! In a non-competitive environment, tenure is a direct reflection on low student performance scores as ill qualified teachers are protected from being fired. Tenure protects those in their careers from the competition young workers would generate.

    The unintended consequences of tenure are that students are often shuffled from one grade to the next on the basis of attendance, even if they do not know the material.

    The battle is on: Tenured teachers’ job protection along with no accountability for their performance vs. the students’ need to learn from teachers with no accountability to actually teach. In a “real” business environment, only the performers survive.

    Sports: Can you imagine tenured athletes with guaranteed jobs having the motivation to be competitive against athletes fighting for their jobs?

    Construction: Can you expect quality work and adherence to any schedule with a complacent worker tenured with job protections?

    Medical: Can you expect quality service from individuals with protected jobs and complacency to stay abreast of the latest technologies and procedures?

    If tenure is allowed to continue, an even playing field would provide tenure opportunities for heart surgeons, airline pilots, athletes, and construction workers, etc., so that they too have guaranteed jobs with no accountability for performance and protect them from the competition young workers would generate.

    Reply this comment
    • eck
      eck 29 May, 2015, 19:52

      Amen. There is no rational reason for tenure for any public school, secondary or college, teacher. It’s insane. It’s a job, like any other, and we taxpayers are on the hook to pay for it. Also as to the Richard Rider’s comment, below, exactly. Never gonna get thru the politicians. Will have to be initiative.

      Reply this comment
  2. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 29 May, 2015, 14:56

    CTA and their union allies, along with the powerful within the Democrat Party — will ALWAYS support union control over student benefit. No amount of reform will meaningfully change that.

    Only one reform will really do the job — choice in education. REAL choice, including private schools. Education vouchers or tax credits (I prefer the latter) are the way to go.

    It will NEVER happen though our legislature. Only the initiative option offers any hope, and even that is a long shot. But it should be tried — every election cycle.

    Reply this comment
  3. Jade Helm
    Jade Helm 30 May, 2015, 20:43

    Ah, come on, now. How could ya not want to grant life long job security to these dedicated public servants?

    Reply this comment

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