California’s teacher firing reforms a mixed bag


By James Poulos | Cal Watchdog

In some respects, it’s now easier to fire teachers in California. In others, it’s more complicated.

That’s the verdict on AB 215, the version of several different firing reform bills that cleared the Legislature and received Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature late last month.

In the wake of the Miramonte Elementary School sex abuse scandal, where a Los Angeles teacher’s conviction on 23 felony counts of molestation and lewd conduct led to some $30 million in damages paid to his victims, Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, introduced AB 375. But that bill was marred by last-minute amendments and dogged criticism. School administrators and others insisted that AB 375 underprotected students and unduly complicated the firing process, creating the potential for even greater abuses.

Under strong pressure, AB 375 was vetoed by Gov. Brown in late 2013. In a brief statement, Brown admonished legislators for the bill’s strict limitation of depositions and its bar on amending charges, even in light of new evidence.

at Cal Watchdog.