California’s Brown Mum on Vergara v. California Ruling

California Governor Jerry Brown is keeping quiet when it comes to his feelings about the controversial Vergara v. California ruling pertaining to the states’ teacher tenure laws.

“You haven’t heard from me because I haven’t said anything,” he told a reporter who noted he had not yet commented on the ruling.

According to Brown, he is waiting for additional information from the Los Angeles County Superior Court concerning the ruling made six weeks ago before requesting an appeal.

Brown did say that Attorney General Kamala Harris filed a 19-page request on his behalf, requesting further evidence that the laws challenged actually do create negative educational outcomes for low-income students, writes Isabelle Taft for The Sacramento Bee.

“Did the court determine that being assigned to a single ‘grossly ineffective’ teacher in California, during 13 years of public school education, causes an extreme and unprecedented disparity between that student’s educational experience and the educational experience of other students in California? If so what are the factual bases for that conclusion?” reads a typical passage.

The ruling, issued June 10, found that a number of laws concerning the hiring and firing of California’s tenured teachers unconstitutional.  According to Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu, the laws especially affected low-income students by allowing ineffective teachers to remain in the classroom.

The California Teachers Association, co-defendant for the case, has also put in a request for more information from the judge, stating that the 16-page ruling was short.  The group does plan on appealing the ruling.

“The decision didn’t go into a lot of detail about why,” Jonathan Goldman, spokesman for the CTA, said. “For anybody to move forward with an appeal, or anything else, all parties need to know why.”

According to Manny Rivera, spokesman for Students Matter, the plaintiffs have filed for a statement of decision as well.

“We’ll deal with this when we deal with it,” Brown told reporters.

Neel Kashkari, running for California state governor this year, calls Brown’s silence on the issue “offensive”.

“The Vergara case is very personal for me because I was a brown kid, a minority kid and from an immigrant family,” said Kashkari, whose parents migrated from India.

While Kashkari did not take a position as to whether teachers should receive tenure, he hinted that he did not agree with the method, writes Michael Finnegan for The Los Angeles Times.

“A lot of professions are at-will,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of merit in at-will.”

According to website Real Clear Politics, Brown enjoys a 19-point lead over Kashkari with the election roughly three months away. Brown is seeking his fourth term as governor, having previously held office from 1975-1983, and again starting in 2011. He is California’s longest cumulatively tenured governor and its oldest as well.