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So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Controversy erupts over bill to expand tenure to more California teachers

A teacher welcomes pupils in a classroom at David Johnston primary school on September 4, 2012.
A teacher welcomes pupils in a classroom at David Johnston primary school on September 4, 2012. Pierre Andrieu/Getty Images

A bill by California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez would give teachers at very small school districts, county offices of education, and Regional Occupation Programs, tenure after three years - making them wait one year longer than teachers at large districts.

State Senator Bob Huff, who voted against the bill in the Senate education committee, said the bill would run afoul of the groundbreaking decision in California vs Vergara two weeks ago.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu struck down as unconstitutional California’s law granting teacher tenure after two years. Tenure after three to five years, the judge said, would do more to help reduce the number of bad teachers in classrooms.

The massive rewriting of laws governing dismissal procedures, tenure, and seniority based layoffs is on hold while the decision is appealed to higher courts.

“Should the decision be upheld on appeal, the Legislature will have to develop a new legal paradigm to protect both students and teachers,” Gonzalez said in a written statement. "I look forward to participating in those discussions."

All Republicans on the Senate education committee voted against the bill last week.

The bill goes back to the Senate education committee Wednesday for another vote. Gonzalez said she's lobbying two democrats on the committee who didn't vote last week - to get it passed. If it does, it’ll move on to the state Senate appropriations committee.

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