Teachers' Talent Vs Seniority

An Orange County lawmaker wants to shake up the way districts across the state make cuts when budget time rolls around.

State Sen. Bob Huff (R) 29th District and Vice-Chair of the Senate Education Committee introduced an education reform bill that promotes quality over seniority.

SB 355 would allow schools to make staffing decisions based on teacher performance, not simply follow a policy of "Last In, First Out." 

“You won’t find the luxury of seniority protection in the private sector and we shouldn’t apply such an ineffective policy to an important profession like teaching,” Huff said in a news release issued Monday. “This is a policy that hurts children since they should be given the opportunity to study with the best teacher possible.” 

The idea of keeping quality teachers is nothing new to school districts according to San Diego Education Association President Bill Freeman.

San Diego has a very good performance evaluation system currently according to Freeman.

"The system is there, the system works," he said. "The idea of tenure protecting poor teachers is a misnomer."

However, Freeman said that SB 355 is evidence of a growing sentiment, a "witchhunt "as he called it, with lawmakers jumping on the bandwagon to attack teachers.

"With all this stuff, this scapegoating of teachers, they are hurting the profession," he said.

"The fix that is needed is adequate funding," Freeman said.

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