Verara - RiShawn Biddle
For the NEA and AFT, the Vergara decision is the worst defeat they have experienced so far in their battle with school reformers over the direction of American public education.
Even as the unions have lost battles over efforts to reform teacher compensation, expansion of school choice, and scaling back defined-benefit pensions, they had largely succeeded in beating back reformers the near-lifetime employment rules that have helped make teaching the most-comfortable profession in the public sector.
But thanks to Vergara, California legislators will have to rewrite tenure, dismissal, and layoff laws so that they don't so blatantly favor their NEA and AFT allies.
Reformers and parents in other states would be encouraged to file similar torts. They can use Vergara as a roadmap for their own suits because all state constitutions have some form of equal protection clause, and many have been affected by school funding lawsuits that have determined that state responsibility for a child's education goes beyond providing access to a classroom.
Vergara's impact on the NEA and AFT also extend to the grand bargain they have long struck with teachers in their respective rank-and-file. Now that the unions can no longer guarantee them near-lifetime employment, teachers may now look to alternatives to the traditional unions to help them improve working conditions and elevate their profession.