Education: A step in the right direction?
July 23, 2014One of my top priorities as a mom and as your representative is education. Providing our children with a top-quality education in a safe learning environment is essential for their future and for California's.
There are many good teachers who are doing a noble job every day educating our kids. Unfortunately, too many students are trapped in failing schools that aren't preparing them to achieve their dreams. But the winds of change are blowing thanks to the recent ruling in the landmark Vergara v. California case.
A group of students sued the state, arguing that they did not have the opportunity to learn from a great teacher due to the state's rigid tenure laws. The judge in the case ruled that current laws violate "a student's fundamental right to equality of education and that they impose a disproportionate burden on poor and minority students."
The superintendent of Los Angeles Unified testified that it costs between $250,000 and $450,000 per case and can take up to 10 years to dismiss a teacher for poor performance or misconduct. Layoffs are largely determined by seniority, not what's best for students.
It is my hope that this case will be the catalyst for much-needed teacher tenure reforms. My Republican colleagues and I have long supported reforms that would make it easier for students to transfer out of failing schools and streamline the process for districts to remove teachers accused of misconduct. The time for action is now. Our children's future depends on it.