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Lawsuit Challenging Teacher Tenure, Seniority Protections Goes To Court Next Week

The trinity of teachers’ rights in California – tenure, seniority and due process in dismissals – will be under attack next week in a trial in Los Angeles with statewide impact and national interest. In Vergara v. California, a nonprofit organization, Students Matter, is suing the state to overturn five statutes in the Education Code on behalf of Beatriz Vergara, a Los Angeles Unified student who was 13 when the lawsuit was filed in 2012, and eight more students in five districts.

The laws grant probationary teachers the right to obtain tenure, or permanent status, after two years on the job, require layoffs to be based primarily on seniority and lay out a dismissal process with complex due process procedures that the Legislature has tried, but failed, to amend for two years.