Sunday, March 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Lawsuit opens new front in California’s school war

walters column sig

By
From page A9 | February 02, 2014 |

A new front in the years-long political and legal war over the future of California’s immense and immensely expensive public school system opened this week in a Los Angeles courtroom.

The war pits the education establishment, which argues that more money is the best way to improve academic outcomes, against civil rights advocates and reform groups backed by business interests and wealthy individuals, which contend that structural change is needed.

The establishment more or less prevailed this month in a skirmish over the rules governing Gov. Jerry Brown’s school finance overhaul, when the state Board of Education opted for “flexibility” in how local school officials spend new money meant to help poor and English-learner students.

Reformers contended that “flexibility” would allow local school officials to avoid concentrating the extra money on targeted students.

The trial before Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu pits one reform group, Students Matter, founded by Silicon Valley tycoon David Welch, against the state and school unions over whether tenure and other teacher protection laws violate students’ rights by denying them competent instruction.

“We are not saying we have all the answers,” Theodore Boutrous Jr., a Students Matter attorney, said as the trial opened Monday.

“We are not saying there are not other problems. We are not asking the court to create an evaluation system. We are not attempting to scapegoat teachers for racism and poverty.”

Rather, he continued, the laws “create a vicious cycle to harm students every day.”

The opening witness for plaintiffs was John Deasy, superintendent of the huge Los Angeles Unified School District, who told Treu that a short probationary period for new teachers in current law is not sufficient to judge their competence before they gain tenure.

Deputy Attorney General Nimrod Elias, echoing the unions, countered that the laws being challenged maintain a “professional, stable workforce” and “eliminating due process and job security could bring about unintended consequences when California is embarking on innovative efforts,” citing the aforementioned effort to improve the educations of poor children.

One law being challenged is the complex process for dismissing a poor or abusive teacher. After Deasy’s district paid off a teacher who had been accused of sexually abusing young children, rather than go through the dismissal process, the Legislature took up the issue.

Opposition from the California Teachers Association and other unions blocked a tough bill and the Legislature last year passed a union-supported measure that critics said would make the process even more laborious. Brown then rejected the bill as inadequate.

In reaction, reformers have proposed a dismissal ballot measure that, if placed before voters, would open still another front in California’s school war.

Dan Walters is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee. Reach him as [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Peace and patience: Quilters gear up for show

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
School bands compete in Pageantry on Parade

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Calling someone a ‘smoker’ is hilarious

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

Conservancy plans next Quail Ridge Reserve walk

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Police seek suspect in armed robbery

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3, 3 Comments

 
4-H Presentation Day brings fun, education to Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
The agony of the codling moth, ecstasy of worm-free apples

By Christine Macgenn | From Page: C4

 
What you eat can affect your medications

By Marilyn Ranson | From Page: C4

Tri-City NAACP honors community members at gala event

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
CAASC 18th Annual Chinese New Year and Scholarship Celebration

By Steve Reczkowski | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Rollover in Suisun City

By Aaron Rosenblatt | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

State schedules ramp closure at freeway project site

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
Appointments on tap for Board of Supervisors meet

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
NY, SF town house prices through the roof

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

 
Fairfield police log: Feb. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Feb. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Airmen with local ties finish basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Force draws many from South, middle class

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Christie to Calif. Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US missionary abducted in Nigeria is courageous, friends say

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Dress that ‘greatly resembles’ stolen Nyong’o gown found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Churches, synagogues, mosques bear tough New England winter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Hyundai recalls 263,000 cars due to power-steering problem

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Blind dog rescued after being lost for 2 weeks in the cold

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Details about proposed national monuments in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
National monument supporters in California get antsy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

US drone strike in Yemen kills 3 suspected al-Qaida fighters

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Greece will not seek another bailout, prime minister says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Attacks kill 37 people in and north of Iraq’s capital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Nemtsov a possible ‘sacrificial victim,’ investigators say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Sound off for March 1, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
New school funding plan remains on bumpy path

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

 
Even Gruber deserves a break sometimes

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

I might just vote for a Democrat next time around

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 8 Comments

 
Aging Fairfield housing agency faltering

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Editorial Cartoon: March 1, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: March 1, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

With numbers falling, Houston-area nuns’ future uncertain

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: March 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Kidney Walk participation helped give me a positive outlook on life

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Take a look – Dr. Seuss has a new book

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Publisher launches line of Warhol e-books

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Q&A: Opera star Deborah Voigt writes of turbulent life

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2Comments are off for this post

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Review: ‘The Girl on the Train’ has realistic plot

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2Comments are off for this post

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

A year after meeting Tiger, Indian golfer on the rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Jeff Gordon takes a final spin at track that meant so much

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Vikings girls looking for first section title

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Local Report: Vaca’s Aquino wins Masters wrestling title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Phegley hopes his style will catch on in Oakland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Environmental activists disrupt meeting by Olympic officials

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hamilton hones Mercedes with fastest time at F1 testing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Thunder’s Russell Westbrook has surgery on cheekbone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Anthony Mason, rugged forward of 1990s Knicks, dies at 48

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Warriors center Festus Ezeli suspended for a game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Reichelt leads Austrian World Cup downhill sweep

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Players’ union head: future spring games in Cuba possible

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Harrington takes 36-hole lead, then more rain in Florida

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Defending champ Federer beats Djokovic to retain Dubai title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Safarova beats Azarenka to win the Qatar Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stolen No. 44 NASCAR race car found in suburban Atlanta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Harvick wins Xfinity race at Atlanta for 3rd year in a row

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

For many in US, cash saved at gas pump is staying in pockets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Fruits and vegetables get a star-studded marketing push

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Historic snows causing headaches for real estate industry

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Nevada casinos keep $953.7 million in winnings in January

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Greek prime minister rules out third bailout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Boy, 13, builds Braille printer with Legos, starts company

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9Comments are off for this post

Recalls this week: hand trucks, ceiling fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Review: Freedom! These smartwatches leave the phone behind

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

AP Exclusive: Fuel-hauling trains could derail at 10 a year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Thomas Browning

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Leah E. Hoffman

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

John W. Van Wart

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Virgil Albert Hanson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics