Los Angeles, CA — “Unconstitutional” that is what a Los Angeles judge has ruled in regards to California’s tenure protections for public school teachers.
Judge Rolf Treu made that ruling today regarding five California laws governing teacher tenure, layoffs and dismissals stating, “That this court’s decision will and should result in political discourse is beyond question but such consequence cannot and does not detract from its obligation to consider only the evidence and the law in making its decision. It is also not this court’s function to consider the wisdom of the challenged statutes.”
Treu ruled in favor of nine students who sued the state arguing tenure and seniority policies make it virtually impossible to fire bad teachers.
“All children deserve great teachers,” says State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson in reaction to the ruling, “Teachers are not the problem in our schools, they are the solution.”
Torlakson added that the ruling will make the difficult job of finding and hiring qualified teachers even more challenging.
The students filed the lawsuit in May of 2012 with the help of the group Students Matter. That organization says, “By striking down the following laws it will create an opportunity for lawmakers, teachers, administrators and community leaders to design a system that’s good for teachers and students. Because when it comes to educating our kids, there should only be winners.”
Today’s decision could cause other states with strong tenure laws to challenge their statutes as well.