PBN publishes article by Steve Adams analyzing potential impact in Rhode Island of recent teacher-tenure court ruling

Providence Business News

PROVIDENCE (Aug. 27, 2014) – In an article published by the Providence Business News in its Aug. 11 issue, Steve Adams analyzes the potential impact in Rhode Island of a recent teacher-tenure ruling in California that garnered national headlines.

In June, California Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu struck down California’s teacher-tenure system in a decision that has been widely hailed and criticized. In Vergara v. State of California, Treu ruled that California laws that protect tenured teachers from dismissal deny students equal protection of the law under the Constitution of California. The plaintiffs in the case were a group of California students. The defendants included the State of California and the Los Angeles Unified School District.

According to Treu, several California statutes significantly inhibit the ability of California school departments to dismiss ineffective teachers. The judge found that high-poverty, minority students disproportionately experience this backlog of bad teachers.

In the PBN article, Adams suggests the California decision will likely have minimal impact in Rhode Island for a variety of reasons. For instance, the constitutional challenge is more difficult in Rhode Island, Adams notes. Also, Rhode Island school districts already have the power to dismiss tenured teachers for “good and just cause.”

About Barton Gilman

Barton Gilman is one of New England’s leading civil litigation law firms with offices in Boston and Providence. Its experienced trial attorneys appear regularly in the federal and state courts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Providence Business News has named the firm as one of Rhode Island’s Best Places to Work in 2014.

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