Governor Brown Vetoes AB 375, says it “would do more harm than good”

Governor Jerry Brown announced today that he has vetoed Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan’s teacher dismissal bill, AB 375.   The California Teachers Association had strongly supported the bill, which they quickly pushed through the Legislature in the final hours of this year’s legislative session after it was thought to have died in committee.  As the deadline for a veto moved closer, education advocates began vocally pointing out the many flaws in the bill.  The Sacramento Bee, Modesto Bee, and Fresno Bee published editorials urging Governor Brown to veto AB 375, which the California School Boards Association, the Association of California School Administrators and San Francisco Unified Superintendent Richard Carranza said could make the state’s complicated dismissal process even longer, and in the worst cases, keep potentially abusive teachers in the classroom. Fortunately for California’s students, Governor Brown agreed with education advocates across the state, conceding in his veto message that the bill “may do more harm than good.”

Given near universal agreement that the bill would have done nothing to protect students, observers have been questioning why it made it to Governor Brown’s desk in the first place. Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee argues that Assemblywoman Buchanan sponsored this ineffective bill to gain favor with the California Teachers Association—support that will be much needed in what will likely be a highly contested primary election for State Senate in three years. A more immediate motivation behind the bill was to prevent Vergara v. California from going to court on the false grounds that AB 375 fixes California’s broken teacher dismissal process. As Gloria Romero pointed out this week in the Orange County Register, “the Vergara case represents the most comprehensive challenge mounted to five teacher-protection statutes embedded in state law … Trial is scheduled to begin soon, causing the unions to increasingly becoming worried.” The unions know that the facts are on the side of the children who are harmed by these state laws and are doing everything they can to stop Vergara v. California from going to court, where campaign donations and slick political maneuvers have no influence. 

Students Matter thanks Governor Brown for making the right decision for California’s families. 

Pictured: Governor Jerry Brown. (Source: The Merced Sun-Star,