Vergara v. California is a case that everyone throughout America that cares about education should be watching closely. The case was brought on behalf of nine students who were in schools that did not have effective, high quality teachers.
The crux of Vergara is this: California seniority and tenure job protections for teachers serve to deprive students, primarily poor minority students, the rights guaranteed under the California constitution assuring all students equality in education in high quality schools, with high quality teachers.
The suit, which was historically decided in favor of the plaintiffs earlier this year, has now been appealed by California Governor Jerry (Moonbeam/moon bat) Brown and the California affiliates of the NEA and the AFT.
The powerful and influential teachers’ unions are working overtime to defeat this suit on appeal. If upheld, the Vergara ruling reforms California’s ridiculously short (16 Months) time-frame for evaluating new teachers for the purpose of granting tenure, streamlines the dismissal process for ineffective teachers, and prohibits union language that makes seniority the most important factor when teacher layoffs occur.
Other states, particularly the dark-blue northeastern states with very similar state constitutional language on education, should pay very close attention to this case. Florida has already reformed tenure, but Florida could reform dismissal protocols and LIFO practices as well. Every state should watch this battle.
Once Vergara is upheld and the appeal is defeated in California, I would not be surprised to see similar challenges in courts in other union stronghold states. Stay tuned to this one.
An excellent summary/timeline of the case is here.
The most profound quotes from the Judge’s June, 2014 ruling can be found here.