The Los Angeles Unified School District failed to protect students at Miramonte Elementary school. Instead of using their powers immediately to remove and fire a teacher who breaks the law, LAUSD is deflecting responsibility and supporting changes to the teacher dismissal law for all educators.
Senator Padilla has introduced SB 1530 to make changes in teacher dismissal law. Senator Padilla should instead be calling for an investigation of why management failed to use its powers that current law provides.
Senator Alex Padilla has told the LA Times that he wants to work with CTA to make SB 1530, his CTA-opposed teacher dismissal bill, into something more useful. But he’s also told a Sacramento reporter that he thinks school boards should have the right to get rid of a teacher as soon as district officials come to believe that a teacher has committed a firing offense.
While this may not sound like such a bad idea to most people, there’s more to it. This bill would eliminate constitutional due process rights for teachers and enable local school districts to fire a teacher regardless of the facts.
Let’s take a closer look at what SB 1530 would do:
- Take away educators’ rights to a hearing.
- Eliminate educators’ opportunity to respond to charges.
- Allow districts to summarily dismiss educators for almost any type of misconduct, whether it be minor offenses (such as smoking cigarettes in a personal car on school grounds or wearing open toed shoes in a shop class) or major offenses.
- It treats all misconduct the same way.
- Raise district costs by providing an automatic appeal to superior court. Current law avoids that cost. These changes would raise district costs needlessly at a time classrooms desperately need more money.
CTA staff met with Sen. Padilla’s office on Monday and secured some revisions – but not enough – to the measure.
The amended measure secured the approval of the Senate Education Committee Wednesday morning and is headed to the Senate Appropriations Committee for its next hearing.
Contacts to State Senators that ask that lawmaker to contact Senator Padilla and urge him to change his bill into a measure that CTA can support can make a difference. It’s important that the Senator know the bill is both unfair and detrimental to the best interests of educators and students.
Your Senator can be reached by phone or fax at the her/his Capitol office.
CTA’s Legislative Action Center can provide more information about the bills and how to contact other lawmakers: Contact Your Lawmaker!
The most recent CTA advocate letter on the bill is below. Click on the image to read a full-size version.