Senate Bill 355, introduced February 15 by Bob Huff (R-Walnut, at right), who is vice chair of the Senate Education Committee, has a dull moniker: "education employment: certificated employees," but a controversial core, as it states:
This bill would provide additional reasons for which a sch ool district may deviate from terminating employees in order of seniority, including basing a decision on performance evaluations, if the governing board has implemented the provisions relating to a multiple-measures evaluation system, as described, and on the basis that the employee is assigned to a schoolsite that has been selected by the governing board for exemption from certificated reductions in force, based upon the needs of the educational program.
SB 355 is a companion piece to AB 5, introduced March 8 by Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes (D-Sylmar), called "Certificated school employees: performance evaluation." This bill, which will be heard on Wednesday before the Assembly Education Committee, states:
Existing law requires the governing board of each school district to develop and adopt objective evaluation and assessment guidelines to evaluate the performance of its certificated employees and encourages each district to establish an evaluation and assessment system that is uniform throughout the district. Existing law requires each school district to establish standards of expected pupil achievement at each grade level in each area of study and to evaluate and assess certificated employee performance as it reasonably relates to specified factors.
This bill would make those provisions inoperative on July 1, 2012, and would repeal them on January 1, 2013. The bill, commencing with the 2012-13 school year, instead would require the governing board of a school district to adopt and implement a fair, transparent, and rigorous evaluation system based on a uniform standard for certificated employees, as specified.
According to Redlands Daily Facts, Huff said, "You won't find the luxury of seniority protection in the private sector, and we shouldn't apply such an ineffective policy to an important profession like teaching." In response, Frank Wells, spokesman for the California Teachers Association, said it would be a logical disaster if school districts based layoffs on Huff's proposed legislation because it would prompt districts to save money by laying off the higher-paid, veteran teachers.