In a massive blow to the California teacher unions, Judge Rolf Treu ruled in favor of nine students stating that the teachers' tenure laws were unconstitutional.
Nine students sued the state claiming that the tenure policies “undermined their education by making it almost impossible for bad teachers to be fired.”
Treu wrote "Substantial evidence presented makes it clear to this court that the challenged statutes disproportionately affect poor and/or minority students. The evidence is compelling. Indeed, it shocks the conscience.”
According to California law, teachers become eligible for tenure after 2 years on the job. It would cost nearly $450,000 to fire a teacher and the incredibly drawn-out process does not guarantee the teacher would be fired. It actually is quite rare.
While teachers' unions defended the laws as necessary for job security, preserving academic freedom and a boon to attract talented educators, the students argued that the teachers would come to class unprepared and fail to motivate the class.
Dennis Van Roekel, the President of the National Education Association, was furious, blaming conservative groups for the lawsuit. he said, "Let's be clear: This lawsuit was never about helping students, but is yet another attempt by millionaires and corporate special interests to undermine the teaching profession and push their own ideological agenda on public schools and students while working to privatize public education."