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New Teacher Dismissal Bill Deal Has Governor's Support

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Asm. Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) 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.

“This deal accomplishes the expedited process we need for those few teachers that commit egregious crimes,” Buchanan said in an interview with Capital Public Radio about the newly-amended AB 215.  “It shortens the process and reduces the cost for all of it.”

But groups representing school boards and superintendents and principals, who weren't involved in the latest round of negotiations, are suggesting the deal still falls short.

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.

“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,” Preston says.  “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.

“I was told by his staff that the governor spent over six or seven hours reviewing this bill – dotting every ‘i’, crossing every ‘t’,” Buchanan says.  “So he has indicated to us that he’s ready to sign.”

The governor's office confirms he supports the new legislation.

The deal also likely means voters won’t see rival ballot measures targeting charter schools and teachers unions this fall, as the groups pushing those measures are expected to back down.

 capitol