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Union wins huge victory in teacher tenure case as California Supreme Court decline to take up issue

In a major victory for teachers’ unions, the California Supreme Court has let stand a ruling that preserves traditional teacher job protections such as tenure and seniority-based layoffs. 

In refusing to hear the case, the state’s high court sided not only with unions, but also the state of California and others, who contended that these job protections are both constitutional and reasonable.

The case was being closely watched across the country as a bellwether on whether courts could be used to invalidate employment rights of teachers on the grounds that they violate the rights of students.

Attorneys for a group of nine students had argued that making it easier to fire bad teachers would improve academic performance. They also claimed that speedier dismissals would narrow the achievement gap that separates white, Asian and wealthier students from their lower income, black and Latino peers.

California has among the strongest teacher job protections, and if a teacher invokes them, they increase the time and cost of the dismissal process.

By refusing to hear the litigation, the state’s high court left the debate over these employment rules to the state Legislature, which has moved cautiously on the issue. Teachers unions are among the most influential political forces in the state.

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howard.blume@latimes.com

Twitter: @howardblume

Source:   latimes
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