Los Angeles, CA — Unions scored a major victory as a California court overturned an earlier ruling that found teacher tenure unconstitutional, which is prompting cheers and jeers.
As previously reported, in June of 2014, Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu ruled in favor of nine students who sued the state, arguing tenure and seniority policies make it virtually impossible to fire bad teachers. Then in September of that year, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers, representing a combined 400,000 members, filed an appeal arguing that the June ruling was “riddled with errors.” At the same time Governor Jerry Brown filed his own appeal to the decision.
Thursday’s ruling by the Second Appellate District Court to reverse Vergara v. California brought applause from California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. He stated, “All of our students deserve great teachers. Teachers are not the problem in our schools – they are the answer to helping students succeed on the pathway to 21st century college and careers.” He added, “The Appellate Court clearly recognized that Vergara was a flawed ruling and overturned it unanimously. Now we can move forward together to recruit, train, and support talented and dedicated educators in school districts all across our great state.”
Disappointed by the ruling, Republican Senator Bob Huff contended, “Justices who serve on the Second District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles have served up a menu of continued educational failure for our state’s students and parents. The decision to overturn Judge Treu’s ruling on teacher tenure and other areas of the education code only serves to deny our students access to great schools, great teachers and a learning experience like no other. This ruling locks many of our children into low-performing schools and denies them the highest quality education we can give them.”
Huff went as far as to call for an immediate appeal of the latest ruling.