This is a follow-up to last weeks meeting.
Last week, teachers faced an unprecedented attack on our employment rights when State Senator Alex Padilla’s bill to gut due process rights in teacher dismissals came before the State Assembly for a committee vote. We’re happy to report that we were successful in fighting it off thanks to the efforts of local teachers who showed up to speak against the bill. The following report is from Ken Poppers of Elk Grove Education Association:
First, I would like to thank the EGEA and SCTA members that attended the CTA training and then went on to the capitol building to participate in the hearing.
The hearing was scheduled for 1:30, but because of delays due to floor sessions in both the state senate and assembly, some folks had to leave because of other commitments, myself among them.
Secondly, the professionalism, skills and knowledge of the CTA legislative team were very impressive. These folks, many of whom are classroom teachers, are true advocates for those of us in the trenches.
Senate bill 1530, proposed by Senator Alex Padilla, was a bad idea, which only got as far as it did because of legislative courtesy in the state senate. Majority party members will generally back the efforts of their fellow party colleagues because they know that many bad ideas will be killed in the other house of the legislature.
SB 1530 would’ve changed the dismissal process in ways that possibly could’ve created a system where site and district office administrators would have a way to dismiss teachers that are considered troublesome for reasons other than that of true misconduct.
The decision of the administrative law judge would only be advisory to a school board, rather than the current system of a 3-person panel, which is binding. To put that in perspective in the recent Sacramento City Unified layoff hearings the ALJ found the “Priority Schools” skipping was not legal. SCUSD’s district administration and board chose to reject the ALJ’s finding and went ahead and skipped more junior teachers. This resulted in many experienced teachers, including the SCUSD Teacher of the Year to be laid off. That story, which conveniently leaves out the district’s layoff skips, went viral, as misreported by Channel 10.
The best example for misuse of the changes proposed in SB 1530 I heard was that in a case of a messy divorce/custody battle an estranged spouse could accuse his/her former partner of child neglect. The district could then move to dismiss the teacher based on this charge.
I am including a couple of links to news stories regarding the defeat of this bill. Pay attention to how the news media continues to blame CTA for the failings of individuals and administration. The teacher that started all this could’ve been dismissed under current law, but LAUSD did not follow through.
It is imperative that you engage in this process, none of us are immune and what happens in the capitol affects you.