LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A court ruling today in Los Angeles could have national implications, when it comes to job protections for schoolteachers.
A judge ruled that tenure and other protections for California's public school teachers are unconstitutional. According to the judge, the system discriminates against minority and low-income students, by placing ineffective teachers in their schools.
The judge sided with nine students who brought the lawsuit. He ruled that California's laws on hiring and firing in schools have resulted in "a significant number of grossly ineffective teachers currently active in California classrooms." And he said a disproportionate share of those teachers ended up in schools that have mostly minority and low-income students.
The California Teachers Association, the state's biggest teachers union, is vowing an appeal.
Teachers have long argued that tenure prevents administrators from firing teachers on a whim. They also contend that the system preserves academic freedom, and helps attract talented teachers to a profession that doesn't pay well.
Other states have been paying close attention to how the case plays out in California.
APPHOTO CADD104: Alex Caputo-Pearl, president elect of United Teachers Los Angeles, takes questions on about the verdict of the Vergara v. California lawsuit in Los Angeles Tuesday, June 10, 2014. A judge struck down tenure and other job protections for California's public school teachers as unconstitutional Tuesday, saying such laws harm students, especially poor and minority ones, by saddling them with bad teachers. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) (10 Jun 2014)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.