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Effort to prevent layoffs at inner-city schools

April 20, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is voicing support for a lawsuit that argues teacher layoffs at inner-city schools have violated the civil rights of students. The governor made his point at a middle school in the Watts area of Los Angeles Tuesday.Taking center stage at one of the schools now suing the L.A. Unified School District, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger threw his support behind the legal action and the call to change the state's education system.

The lawsuit claims the districts layoff policies discriminate against students at low-income and minority schools.

At Markham Middle School officials say the "last-hired-first-fired" policy has cost the campus 50 percent of its teachers, many of them award winning educators.

From legal action to legislation, supporters are fighting to change the system. State Senate Bill 955 would give school districts the flexibility to make staffing decisions on ability not just seniority and tenure.

In a statement, the teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles, says: "The bill undermines the well-established principal of tenure which was established decades ago to promote stability in the teaching profession."

The staff at Markham says if their school is any example, it's time for change, as the revolving door is costing students their education.


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