Vergara decision will not stand

From: Bob Bezemek, Attorney for AFT Local 1493
Date: June 11, 2011

The decision issued by a L.A. Superior Court judge in Vergara v. State of California, striking down California’s tenure, layoff, due process and seniority laws for K-12 teachers, will not stand. It is a product of right-wing ideology, rather than Constitutional law and reasoning. The decision ignores the facts proved in the case, and disregards governing law.

We will be issuing an analysis of the case and the decision sometime in the next 10 days. We have been aware of the case since it was filed, and participated in some of the early planning of the defense. We have monitored the progress of the case. Over the last 6 months it became clear that 1) the case was totally without merit and 2) the judge was going to find in favor of the plaintiff students, despite the lack of factual or legal reasoning supporting such a decision.

The case is limited to K-12 public schools. Both the CTA and the CFT intervened in the case, and were active participants in a joint effort with the Governor and Attorney General. The court’s injunction, holding these important and long-standing State laws unconstitutional, has been stayed pending appeal. It is certain that the CTA and CFT will file an appeal.

Be advised that a state superior court decision has no precedential value and thus should not impact the community colleges. In addition, the tenure and due process laws for community colleges are significantly different than the K-12 statutes.

We look forward to providing a more detailed explanation of the case and decision.

More on the Vergara decision from the CFT