The Blog at CTA

Anti-union Plaintiffs Drop Two Districts from Suit

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit -- Vegara v. State of California -- have dropped two school districts from the suit that seeks to overturn due process protections for teachers and other laws governing layoffs. The lawsuit threatens to make it harder to attract and retain quality teachers by asserting that the laws governing teacher dismissals, permanent status, and layoffs are unconstitutional.

Dismissing two of three school districts demonstrates the plaintiffs don’t have viable claims in this case.  We continue to see this case as baseless and meritless, and we believe it does nothing to address the real problems facing our schools. Simply put, this lawsuit highlights the wrong problems, proposes the wrong solutions, and follows the wrong process.

The plaintiffs, a group called Students Matter—which describes itself as a nonprofit organization dedicated to sponsoring impact litigation to promote access to quality public education—say they are focusing on defendants including Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, the state, and the two teachers unions, which voluntarily signed on to defend vital state education laws.

CTA and CFT intervened in the lawsuit to ensure all stakeholders have input in education policy decisions and to protect the rights of educators.

This lawsuit is yet another attempt by the usual corporate special interests to undermine the teaching profession and push their agenda on California public schools and students. Circumventing the legislative process to strip teachers of their due process rights will not improve student learning and will make it harder to attract and retain quality teachers in our classrooms. It also ignores all the research that shows experience is a key factor in effective teaching.

Among its targets, the suit would hit state laws protecting senior teachers despite the fact that studies have shown that teacher experience is a key determinant of classroom effectiveness.

The plaintiffs are asserting, among other things, that students are being harmed because state laws require districts to retain more experienced educators in cases of layoffs.

This is a blatant effort to legislate from the bench, keeping parents and educators out of education policy decisions.

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