If you or I are doing a bad job, we can generally be fired. Certain procedures might have to be followed; a cause might have to be proved. But most of us work with the incentive that if we do a bad enough job, we’ll be let go.
It’s different for public school teachers in California (and for many teachers elsewhere). If they can manage to not utterly disgrace themselves in the first year and a half of working, they get locked in to “permanent employment” status. Then the process of trying to firing them is so annoying, expensive, and time consuming that their bosses often don’t bother. And when teachers have to be laid off for financial reasons, “last in, first out” (LIFO) rules for teachers, costing good teachers their jobs in favor of protecting seniority.
Do those problems with quality and expense constitute a violation of California students’ constitutional rights to an education? Court proceedings in California Superior Court in Los Angeles County may settle that question. Brian Doherty explores the details of the case.