After three years of bitter disputes, there appears to be a deal in the California legislature on a bill that would make it easier for school districts to fire teachers accused of abusing students. But as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, not all education groups are on board.
Democratic Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan says she’s brought the California Teachers Association and the school reform group “EdVoice” together on an issue that’s split the education community for years: How to allow districts to quickly fire teachers accused of sexual abuse, child abuse or serious drug crimes.
Buchanan: “This deal accomplishes the expedited process we need for those few teachers that commit egregious crimes. It shortens the process and reduces the cost for all of it.”
But Laura Preston with the Association of California School Administrators says the deal wouldn’t do enough to help districts dismiss employees who aren’t abusers – but are lousy teachers.
Preston: “The fear that I have is because this has been such a fight to get to this point, everybody’s going to think the discussion is over with – and it’s not. To have a really poor teacher in your classroom is just not acceptable.”
Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill by Buchanan last year. He appears to have taken a personal role in negotiations this time around – and his office says he supports the new legislation.