calling on the Newark-based Education Law Center to file a Vergara-type lawsuit in NJ
New Jersey reformed its teacher tenure laws two years ago, but didn't touch the practice known as "last in, first out," which protects absolute seniority rights in times of layoffs. That's where the teachers' union drew a red line.
This means that schools facing layoffs in the next few years will be forced to purge younger teachers — even the most gifted and hardworking ones. The main victims of this policy are poor kids. Teacher quality is much more meaningful for them, because they don't come pre-loaded for success.
Why should a state statute protected by the union be allowed to trump children's constitutional right to a quality education?
This California case is exactly the kind of lawsuit that the Education Law Center should be bringing. The ELC was right to take action in the name of funding inequity nearly 30 years ago. But what is it going to do about seniority rules, now?