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Governor Brown Appeals Vergara v. California Tenure Lawsuit

DENISE TIEU
News Editor

After two years since the Vergara v. California lawsuit was filed, Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu made his final ruling on Aug. 28. According to the Los Angeles Times, Judge Treu’s ruling will dismiss the tenure process for public school teachers’, facilitate the process of firing teachers, while making it less expensive and eliminate the seniority system.

“I’m glad that the tenure system is gone for [public schools]. This will mean that schools will be able to get rid of teachers who are inefficient and prevent students from suffering. I’ve had teachers who gave me worksheets instead of instruction. By ridding [public] schools of tenure, the ruling is only doing all students a favor,” senior Caroline Hang said.

Vergara v. California was filed by nine California public school students along with the help of the non-profit organization, Students Matter. According to Students Matter, the plaintiffs stated that teacher protection laws, such as the “last in, first out” policy and the tenure process, violates student Constitutional and civil rights, prevents students from having effective teachers and prohibits students from having equal opportunities to succeed.

“Substantial evidence presented makes it clear to this court that the challenged statutes disproportionately affect poor and/or minority students,” Treu said, according to the New York Times. “The evidence is compelling. Indeed, it shocks the conscience.”

In response to the ruling, California State Attorney Kamala D. Harris sent in an appeal on behalf of Governor Jerry Brown and California on Aug. 29.

“The important issues presented in this case — if they are to have statewide legal impact — must be reviewed by a higher court, either the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court of California,” the appeal stated, according to Huffington Post.

The appeal mentions that before the trial, school districts were dismissed as parties to the lawsuit and that Judge Treu, proceeded to make his ruling final without providing a legal reason.

“We believe the judge fell victim to the anti-union, anti-teacher rhetoric and one of America’s finest corporate law firms that set out to scapegoat teachers for the real problems that exist in public education,” president of the California Federation of Teachers Joshua Pechthalt said, according to the New York Times. “There are real problems in our schools, but this decision in no way helps us move the ball forward.”
The outcome of Governor Brown’s appeal is still uncertain.

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