Opinion

How much time should teacher tenure take?

To the editor: George Skelton’s column brings to mind the educational reform movement of 1983 when California Sen. Gary K. Hart (D-Santa Barbara) authored a bill eliminating the rights of probationary teachers to have hearings regarding terminations or layoffs. (Re “Ex-teacher is up against a strong union,” column, June 27) Under this law, probationary teachers today are not even given a reason for their dismissal or layoff.

Hart also included a provision to decrease the number of years to earn so-called tenure from three years to two years. This Solomon agreement clearly gave new teachers the shorter end of the employment rights stick.

Now, Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord) wants to add back the three-year requirement for a teacher to earn what is properly called permanent status. In city and county government, employees only have a six-month probationary period before becoming a permanent employee.

This bill is shortsighted for the very reasons California Teachers Assn. President Eric Hein points out in Skelton’s column.

Mark C. Salvaggio, Bakersfield

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