A judge has ruled that California's tenure protections for public school teachers are unconstitutional.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu on Tuesday ruled in favor of nine students who sued the state saying tenure and seniority policies have made it virtually impossible to fire bad teachers.
Lawyers for the teachers say the changes would allow the firing of teachers on a whim. They argued that tenure laws preserve academic freedom and help attract talented teachers to a profession that doesn't pay well.
The decision could have wide-ranging impact on the way California hires and fires teachers and could spur changes in other states with strong tenure laws.
Dozens of states have moved in recent years to weaken or throw out their seniority policies.
Statement from Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
“All children deserve great teachers. Attracting, training, and nurturing talented and dedicated educators are among the most important tasks facing every school district, tasks that require the right mix of tools, resources, and expertise. Today’s ruling may inadvertently make this critical work even more challenging than it already is.“While I have no direct jurisdiction over the statutes challenged in this case, I am always ready to assist the Legislature and Governor in their work to provide high-quality teachers for all of our students. Teachers are not the problem in our schools, they are the solution.”