FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 28, 2014
CONTACT: Manny Rivera, MRivera@wearerally.com or 323-892-2080
Superior Court Issues Final Judgment in Vergara v. California
Groundbreaking Ruling in Support of Plaintiffs Made Final; Students Matter Provides Access to Evidence and Announces Additional Supporters
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles issued its final judgment in the groundbreaking education equality trial, Vergara v. California, striking down five harmful provisions of the California Education Code as unconstitutional. In its judgment, the Court held that the laws in question—laws that govern teacher tenure, dismissal, and layoffs—impose substantial harm on California’s students by forcing administrators to push passionate, inspiring teachers out of the school system and keep grossly ineffective teachers in front of students year after year.
In conjunction with the final judgment, Students Matter, the organizational sponsor of Vergara v. California, released an online resource for the public that provides access to all of the evidence presented at trial, including reports and exhibits. The microsite hosts the compelling evidence that led to California Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu’s landmark ruling.
“We are thrilled that the court has finalized its landmark ruling in Vergara. Judge Treu’s inescapable findings—that California’s teacher tenure, dismissal, and layoff statutes are harming students, and that poor and minority students are bearing the brunt of the harm—are supported by an overwhelmingly compelling trial record,” said Theodore J. Boutrous, Plaintiffs lead co-counsel. “The ruling in Vergara is a victory not only for our nine Plaintiffs, but also for students, parents, and teachers across California.”
State Defendants and Intervenors, which include the state’s two largest teachers unions, have 60 days to file an appeal with the California Court of Appeal. The teachers unions have indicated that they would appeal the court’s decision.
In addition to making available the new online resource of evidence from the trial, Students Matter also announced a new round of support for the ruling in Vergara. Supporters include:
• Chiefs for Change, a bipartisan coalition of current and former state education chiefs who believe that American public education can be dramatically improved and share an urgency to achieve that goal. Members include:
o Hanna Skandera, New Mexico Public Education Department Secretary and Chair at Chiefs for Change
o Mark Murphy, Delaware Secretary of Education
o Tom Luna, Idaho State Superintendent of Public Instruction
o John White, Luisiana State Superintendent of Education
o Janet Barresi, Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction
o Deborah Gist, Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education
o Kevin Huffman, Tennessee Commissioner of Education
• Oakland Alliance of Black Educators, an organization comprised of current and retired teachers, administrators, parents, and school support-staff that are concerned about the educational, social, and moral development of African-American youth.
• Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA), one of the leading business advocacy organizations in Southern California.
• Hon. Kevin Johnson, Mayor of Sacramento
• Hon. Christopher Cabaldon, Mayor of West Sacramento
• Hon. Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas
• Dr. Gary Bloom, former Superintendent of Santa Cruz City Schools
• Dr. Carlos Garcia, former Superintendent of San Francisco Unified School District
• Marlene Canter, former Board President of Los Angeles Unified School District
To view the most recent statements of support for the Vergara ruling, visit the Public Statements page on the Students Matter website.
To view the final ruling from the California Superior Court in Vergara v. California, click here.
Students Matter is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to sponsoring impact litigation to promote access to quality public education. Learn more at studentsmatter.org.