AirTalk for January 24, 2014

Lawsuit challenges California teacher job protections

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A teacher at Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School in Ellicott City, Maryland, conducts a class in cursive writing October 15, 2013.

A groundbreaking lawsuit that seeks to undo teacher job protections is scheduled to kick off Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court. The lawsuit was filed two years ago on behalf of a then-student Beatriz Vergara and eight other public school students.

Their suit alleges that teacher job protections are creating inequality by using seniority rather than teacher quality to determine layoffs.

The non-profit group Students Matter has hired well-known lawyer Ted Boutrous to represent the plaintiffs. He plans to argue that job protections reduce the quality of the pool of state teachers and leaves ineffective teachers on the job only because of seniority.

The teachers unions argue that job protections are good for kids and is an incentive to attract quality teachers. Arguments in the case open on Monday. 

Should seniority be a factor in teacher layoffs? Do job protections improve the quality of education? How could this change the landscape of California public education?

Guest: 

Ben Austin, Executive Director of Parent Revolution and he is on the board of Students Matter

Eric Heins, Vice President of the California Teacher’s Association

 


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