Teacher Tenure Decision Major Civil Rights Victory

Bonnie Reiss
Director of the University of Southern California's Schwarzenegger Institute

The court stood with students and against the powerful unions issuing a ruling that held California public school tenure law is unconstitutional. Moved by testimony and evidence that it takes years and costs schools millions of dollars to dismiss highly ineffective teachers who received tenure after only two years, the court’s ruling striking down California’s tenure laws is a major civil rights victory for our students, especially those in low income areas. The Schwarzenegger Institute is pleased to see the court standing with our students today, and recognizing the negative impact our current tenure and seniority only laws have on their education.

As Secretary of Education for Governor Schwarzenegger, I was proud of his work with civil rights groups on behalf of our students in fighting to make sure that every student received a quality education and every classroom had a great teacher. Too often, it is nearly impossible to pass needed education reforms through the legislature, which is why our administration worked with the court and on constitutional grounds reached the Williams settlement to help our poorest schools.

The broken tenure system unfairly hurts our state’s most vulnerable students and denies equal education for all. This is exactly why Governor Schwarzenegger fought for reform through legislation and the initiative process. We’re glad the court stood with students today and struck down this unconstitutional system.”

Today the court stood with students and against the powerful unions issuing a ruling that held California public school tenure law is unconstitutional. Moved by testimony and evidence that it takes years and costs schools millions of dollars to dismiss highly ineffective teachers who received tenure after only two years, the court’s ruling striking down California’s tenure laws is a major civil rights victory for our students, especially those in low income areas. The Schwarzenegger Institute is pleased to see the court standing with our students today, and recognizing the negative impact our current tenure and seniority only laws have on their education.

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