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Students Matter and Vergara v. California Plaintiffs Oppose Motions for Summary Judgment
Plaintiffs Submit Compelling Evidence that the State of California Is Knowingly Forcing School Districts to Keep Ineffective Teachers in the Classroom, Harming Their Students
By Students Matter
Nov. 14, 2013
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 14, 2013 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday, Plaintiffs in Vergara v. California filed their summary judgment opposition in the Los Angeles Superior Court, asking the court to reject Defendants' baseless efforts to avoid a trial. Vergara v. California is a groundbreaking lawsuit that seeks to strike down five statutes in California's Education Code that prevent California's public schools from providing a quality education to all of their students.
"Over the past thirteen months, we have uncovered a wealth of evidence that the challenged statutes deprive students of their Constitutional right to equal access to a quality education," said Plaintiffs' co-lead counsel Theodore J. Boutrous. "We have thousands of documents, hours of testimony from Superintendents and human resources officials across the state, and compelling data from leading education experts. The evidence clearly demonstrates that the statutes prevent California school districts from prioritizing the best interests of their students when making decisions about teacher employment and retention. Plaintiffs deserve the opportunity to present their evidence at trial."
The Defendants, including the State of California, the State Superintendent, the California Department of Education, and the State Board of Education, asked the court in September to summarily dismiss Plaintiffs' claims without a trial. State Defendants were joined by the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers, who intervened in the case to defend the statutes.
But Plaintiffs—nine public schoolchildren from all over California ranging in age from eight to seventeen years old—have amassed a mountain of evidence demonstrating that the statutes violate the Equal Protection Clause by forcing school districts to keep failing teachers in the classroom year after year, with devastating consequences for the students assigned to their classrooms. Highlights from the evidence include:
Ineffective teachers are entrenched in California's public school system. The Superintendents of many school districts affirm that their districts are beleaguered by grossly ineffective teachers and attribute the continued employment of these teachers to the challenged statutes. Both the State Defendants and the teachers' unions concede that students in California are being taught by ineffective teachers.
Minority and low-income students are disproportionately likely to be taught by grossly ineffective teachers...