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School Business Affairs


A recent trial court order (Vergara v. State of California 2014), which Governor Jerry Brown has already appealed (Nagourney 2014), has sent shock waves through the ranks of teachers and their unions because it threatens what is perhaps educators’ most cherished prize: tenure.

In Vergara, the court invalidated five statutes addressing tenure, procedural safeguards relating to teacher dismissal, and seniority as violating the equal protection clause in the California constitution. The court ruled that the challenged laws “impose a real and appreciable impact on students’ fundamental right to equality of education and that they impose a disproportionate burden on poor and minority students” (p. *4).

Whether Vergara is about to serve as a bellwether signaling that teacher tenure is an idea whose time has passed or is an aberration in the fight over improving the quality of education for all children remains to be seen. Certainly, though, Vergara is the first chapter in a saga that will play itself out in coming years in California and then perhaps beyond.

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This article originally appeared in the January 2015 School Business Affairs magazine and is reprinted with permission of the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO). The text herein does not necessarily represent the views or policies of ASBO International, and use of this imprint does not imply any endorsement or recognition by ASBO International and its officers or affiliates. Any additional re-purposing or reprint of this article in this or any other medium is restricted without prior written consent.

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Association of School Business Officials





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