By Stephen Sawchuk
California’s laws governing teacher tenure and dismissal unfairly saddle disadvantaged and minority students with weak teachers, infringing on those students’ right under the state constitution to an equitable education, a state superior court judge ruled June 10.
The tentative ruling in the high-profile case strikes down the laws in question. It will be finalized within 30 days, and spells what appears to be a complete victory for the plaintiffs, nine California students and their families.
The landmark decision in Vergara v. California says the state’s constitutional guarantee includes having equal access to quality teaching—a step beyond the right to sufficient instructional time and money that rulings in previous equity suits have established.