Richard Epstein applauds the recent court decision – in Vergara v. California Teachers Association – that strips government-school teachers in California of some of their monopoly privileges. A slice:
Judge Treu’s decision struck down three essential pillars of the standard teacher’s union contract. It first took aim at the standard California teacher’s contract, which awards tenure after as little as 16 months of services. It next gave a thumbs down to the elaborate procedural devices a school district has to go through to dismiss a teacher for incompetence. As Student Matters reports: “Out of 275,000 teachers statewide, 2.2 teachers are dismissed for unsatisfactory performance per year on average, which amounts to 0.0008 percent.” Finally, Vergara nixed the current “last in, first out” seniority system, under which the only grounds for dismissing a teacher is the reverse order in which they are hired, wholly without regard to classroom performance and subject matter need. All of these practices undercut the effectiveness of student education and waste taxpayer dollars. This is why educational professionals like Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are supporting the California decision, to the immense dissatisfaction of Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers.