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Settlement Limits L.A. Teachers' Seniority Protection

Publication Date: 
October 06, 2010
Source: 
Los Angeles Times
Author: 
Jason Song, Howard Blume and Jason Felch

The Los Angeles Board of Education approved Tuesday what would be a landmark court settlement that radically limits the traditional practice of laying off teachers strictly on the basis of seniority. The agreement would cap the number of those dismissals at virtually all schools in the nation's second-largest district.

The pact, approved unanimously after a two-hour closed session, also would spare up to 45 struggling schools from layoffs. Many of those schools have disruptive turnover rates among teachers.

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Although the proposed settlement only applies to L.A. schools, the ramifications could be national, said Stanford University education law professor William Koski. In essence, the case establishes that having quality teachers in high poverty schools could be considered a constitutional right in California.

"That's a pretty big deal," he said. "We've established the fact that you can't do harm to poor kids."