The CFT and the California Teachers Association filed a notice of appeal asking that Judge Rolf Treu’s ruling in Vergara v. California be reversed in its entirety. Stating that Treu’s decision striking down five California Education Code provisions “is without support in law or fact,” the appeal says Treu’s reversible errors are “too numerous to list.”

The case was initiated by a group calling itself “Students Matter,” funded by David Welch, a conservative Silicon Valley millionaire. The lawsuit, hiding behind a group of students, alleges that K-12 teacher workplace rights — tenure, due process rights, and seniority rights during layoff — infringe on the constitutional right of students to an equal education.

The evidence at trial overwhelmingly showed that these statutes promote important public interests such as attracting and retaining qualified teachers for public schools. They also are not the cause of any constitutional harm to California students. In fact, it was demonstrated that these very statutes are routinely and efficiently applied by school districts throughout the state.

CFT President Josh Pechthalt said the judge took the easy route of blaming teachers for the conditions they work in. “Judge Treu failed to engage the evidence presented in court by education experts and school superintendents who testified that teacher rights are not impediments to well-run schools and districts,” said Pechthalt.

“He also failed to take into account the impact of underfunding, poverty, growing inequality, and lack of decent jobs in the communities surrounding our schools — in other words, the most important factors affecting student achievement.”

CFT and CTA follow Gov. Brown in submitting an appeal. State Superintendent Tom Torlakson has also filed an appeal. Legal experts across the country have expressed strong skepticism at Judge Treu’s ruling, with many predicting it will be overturned.
The Vergara decision does not affect community college teachers.

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