The threat of a ballot initiative did the trick, persuading the California Teachers Association to negotiate a new process for teacher dismissal...This sounds exceedingly common sensical to me. One wonders why a union of professionals would oppose it--unless they just protect teachers, as opposed to protecting good teachers who have been wronged.
Voters surely would have approved this initiative, after the Legislature in 2012 and 2013 had shown itself unable to buck CTA opposition to pass a bill streamlining the current labyrinthine teacher dismissal process...
But now the old one-size-fits-all process that treated dismissal for lewd acts or drug dealing the same as chronic tardiness is gone in a new bill, Assembly Bill 215 by Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo.
The bill creates a separate, fast-track hearing process after a school board has voted to fire a teacher for misconduct involving sex, drugs or violent offenses against children.
EdVoice promises to withdraw the initiative if the bill becomes law by mid-June. Gov. Jerry Brown has said he would sign it.
Under the bill’s fast-track process, a hearing would begin 60 days after a suspended or dismissed teacher makes a request. The hearing would have to be completed within seven months. In the past, a hearing might not get underway for months and could drag on for years.
The hearing would be conducted by an administrative law judge, not the current three-person panel that includes two teachers, one chosen by the suspended or dismissed teacher and one by the school district...
The bill also seeks to clarify that school districts can suspend teachers without pay. If districts do suspend teachers with pay, the bill would allow districts to recover salary and benefits if they win.
To protect the innocent, those making false allegations would face serious penalties.
Teachers facing dismissal because of poor performance still would have their cases heard by a three-person panel, including one teacher chosen by the district and one by the accused teacher.
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Teachers Union Backs Down
From the major Sacramento newspaper: