Saturday, January 25, 2014

Lawsuit wrongly targets teachers: Guest commentary

Lawsuit wrongly targets teachers: Guest commentary:

Lawsuit wrongly targets teachers: Guest commentary

On Monday a trial begins in a Los Angeles courtroom where plaintiffs will attempt to wipe out long-held and hard-fought workplace protections for hundreds of thousands of California teachers.
Wrongly arguing that such rights “deprive students of their fundamental right to education,” Vergara v. California attacks as unconstitutional current teacher dismissal statutes — statutes which grant teachers due process rights after a rigorous probationary period — and seniority/experience-factored layoff statutes intended to create a fair and workable system when school districts reduce staffing due to budget cuts.
Yet none of the statutes identified in Vergara are depriving students of anything, nor are they violating anyone’s constitutional rights. Years of chronic underfunding, devastating cuts and skyrocketing class sizes may very well be, but fortunately current increases to school funding are starting to turn things around.
But this lawsuit isn’t concerned with school funding, resources, class sizes, training or anything else actually proven to improve the quality of our schools. Instead it’s cynically attempting to use the state constitution as a weapon to strip away rights, rather than to protect them.
Stripping away rights and attacking teachers and labor is really what this is all about. The forces behind Vergara are some of the same corporate education “reformers” who have spent the last decade blaming teachers, attacking unions and undermining public schools instead of addressing 

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