Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Students Win in Court Case, Union Loses

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Students Win in Court Case, Union Loses

Article excerpt

Byline: Star Parker

Here is good news for everyone worried about America's future. A court decision struck down a teacher tenure law in California public schools along with aspects of the law making it almost impossible to fire tenured teachers.

Similar suits can be anticipated.

Everyone, except the teachers unions, seems to grasp that public education in America, particularly in low-income communities, suffers because of lack of competition.

The lawsuit, filed by nine California public school students, was backed by a nonprofit organization, Students Matter, founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Welch.

Teachers in California public schools are tenured within two years.

According to testimony of Los Angeles School Superintendent John Deasy, it takes two years on average, and sometimes as long as 10 years, to fire a teacher with tenure, with costs running as high as $450,000.

The overall high school graduation rate in the Los Angeles Unified School District is 67.9 percent, compared to about 80 percent nationwide.


The reaction from the California teachers unions was predictably self-serving and disingenuous.

Californian Federation of Teachers President Joshua Pechthalt called the case "an anti-teacher campaign funded by wealthy individuals trying to twist education policy with their wallets."

Not quite.

One of the lead attorneys for the law firm representing the students, Ted Olson, was also lead co-counsel in the lawsuit in California challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which defined marriage in California's state constitution as one man and one woman.

Regarding "wealthy individuals trying to twist education policy," what exactly does the teachers union president think that Welch cares about beyond the name of his organization - Students Matter? …

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