In a case that could have all sorts of complicated implications, from the teacher tenure policy to how deep the state education budget can be cut, a L.A. County Superior Court judge took an initial step yesterday in preventing LAUSD from laying off teachers at three troubled L.A. middle schools. The judge’s injunction prohibits LAUSD from laying off teachers for budgetary reasons at Samuel Gompers, Edwin Markham and John H. Liechty middle schools, three of the city’s worst-performing schools. The lawsuit, headed by the ACLU, alleged that students were denied their legal right to an education because of the high number of budget-related layoffs at the schools. While on the surface this seems like a budget-related dispute, underneath that is the teacher tenure policy that is under attack by the LAUSD Superintendent’s office, Gov. Schwarzenegger and more. How will California’s schools cope with budget cuts, and is the influence of teachers unions withering?
Mark Rosenbaum, chief legal counsel, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California
A.J. Duffy, president, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA)
Bonnie Reiss, State Secretary of Education
John Rogers, Director of UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education and Access. He also an associate professor in the UCLA Graduate School of Education