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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

CA teacher tenure ploy ruled unconstitutional: students win big

A landmark ruling Tuesday by Los Angeles County Superior Court JudgeRolf M. Treu found the two-year teacher tenure rule in California, unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs in the Vergara vs. the State of California case, nine California public school children,argued they were directly harmed and deprived of a quality of education by the state statute that forces schools and districts to pink-slip good teachers, and retain ineffective teachers, because of tenure.

But most telling in Treu’s ruling was his outing of the teacher tenure rules — a practice which could only be describes as “stacking the deck.”

Treu found that new teachers,evaluated at… Read More

Edward Ring

Opt-out campaigns log incremental gains, but two court cases could change the rules

Whenever anyone suggests that public sector unions are forcing their members to make political contributions, the unions retort that the contributions are strictly voluntary. Technically speaking, this is true, but the tedious process of opting out of making political contributions is a powerful deterrent.

The California Teachers Association, for example, allow their members to become “agency fee payers,” which means they no longer belong to the CTA, do not have to make political contributions, and merely need to pay their “fair share” of the collecting bargaining expenses from which they still presumably benefit. But even if a CTA member has served written notice and been given agency fee payer status, they still will have 100% of the regular union dues withheld from their paycheck as full members; about $1,200 per year. They then have to request, in writing, between Sept. 1st and Nov. 15thevery year, that the CTA issue them a check for the portion of their dues that was used for political spending.

This amounts to a rigged system that ensures that very few CTA members bother to opt-out, and even fewer manage to consistently… Read More