Senate Republican Leader, representing the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties
Education reform legislation I authored was voted down in the Senate Education Committee yesterday following an outburst of opposition from union interests that were bent on protecting the status quo. SB 355 would have allowed school districts in California to base layoffs on teacher performance rather than just teacher seniority. The measure is part of a broader, nationwide wave of school reform that will allow school districts to foster and retain quality teachers.
With our schools struggling to increase their education quality, I’m disappointed the Senate education committee chose the status quo related to which teachers we let go. Half of our state’s schools are experiencing declining enrollment. Regardless of this year’s difficult budget, layoffs are being made. The defeat of SB 355 means incompetent teachers are still given preference to better teachers because of the quality blind approach we currently use.
Union members with the California Teachers’ Association showed up in force during the committee hearing to oppose my reform efforts, and at the same time, defend the “Last in, First Out” (LIFO) hiring policy. This policy ensures that, no matter how proficient many teachers are, no matter how hard they work, no matter how well they teach, they will receive layoff notices solely based on the date they were hired.