Putting Educators’ Professional Rights on Trial Hurts Students, Wastes Taxpayer Dollars and Time
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, December 13, 2013
LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ruled the deeply misguided Vergara vs. State of California lawsuit may proceed to trial denying the state of California’s, California Teachers Association’s (CTA) and the California Federation of Teachers’ (CFT) motion for summary judgment against it. CTA and CFT remain firmly committed to protecting learning and teaching environments, despite today’s ruling which will put on trial the professional rights of teachers. The judge said the decision to deny the request to dismiss the case in no way indicates the trial’s outcome.
“While today’s ruling against the summary judgment is not surprising, it’s disappointing as putting professional rights of teachers on trial hurts students,” said CTA President Dean E. Vogel. “This most recent shenanigan by corporate special interests and billionaires to push their education agenda on California public schools is resulting in a waste of taxpayer dollars and time – time that should be spent focusing on providing a quality education to all students as the economy improves. CTA will continue to fight to ensure we have qualified and experienced teachers in the classrooms whose rights are respected as set forth by law, and not subject to arbitrary and capricious behavior or favoritism.”
The suit challenges five Education Code statutes claiming they violate the Equal Protection clause of the California state Constitution. If there are legitimate problems with education laws, they should be addressed through the legislative process where parents, educators and all community members can be heard.
“It is deceptive and dishonest to pretend that teacher due process rights are unfair to students,” said CFT President Josh Pechthalt, parent of a ninth grade student in the LAUSD. “Students need a stable, experienced teaching workforce. They won’t have one if this lawsuit succeeds in gutting basic teacher rights. The problem with layoffs, for instance, is not the procedures devised to ensure transparent decisions about who is to be laid off and how. What is unfair to students about layoffs is that they happen in the first place. The way to provide a good teacher in every classroom is to provide sufficient funding. Instead, the organizations behind this lawsuit seek to scapegoat teachers for underfunding, lack of resources and profound poverty in a growing number of communities. Teachers welcome authentic efforts to improve the teaching profession but this lawsuit is about dividing parents, teachers and students, not solving problems.”
The backers of this lawsuit, led by a Silicon Valley millionaire, include a “who’s who” of the billionaire boys club and their front groups. Their goals have nothing to do with protecting students, but are really about undermining public schools and weakening employee unions.
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association. The California Federation of Teachers is the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, and represents faculty and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education.