FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Governor Schwarzenegger's deceptive tenure initiative is not real education reform. It's simply another flawed idea – like the governor's pension and merit pay proposals that were dismissed by the public. This initiative won't reduce class sizes, buy up-to-date textbooks for students or provide quality teacher training.
This initiative is simply a smokescreen to divert attention from the fact that the governor broke his promise to students and schools about fully funding education and that he wants to gut Proposition 98, the law approved by California voters to guarantee minimum funding to our schools. His budget proposals cut school funding by $25,000 per classroom.
This initiative is unnecessary. Existing law already gives every local school district an evaluation process to use to fire teachers for unsatisfactory performance, unprofessional conduct, dishonesty, criminal acts or other inappropriate conduct. Therefore, this initiative is unnecessary.
At a time when an estimated 100,000 new teachers will be needed in the next 10 years in California, this initiative will make it harder to recruit young people into the teaching profession. It will also make it harder to attract and keep quality teachers at our most challenging schools.
Rather than wasting $70 million in taxpayer money on his "special interest" special election in November, the governor needs to work with the Legislature to develop a state budget and an education plan that really helps our students, schools and local communities.