Governor Jerry Brown Vetoes Education Bills

Yesterday, EdSource’s John Fensterwald reported that among the 60 bills Governor Jerry Brown approved on Wednesday, zero education bills were signed. Fensterwald highlighted four of the six K-12 education-related bills vetoed that day, citing the proposed additional costs as precarious during “a time of financial uncertainty.” Brown’s veto message addressing those four bills emphasized his preference for available revenue to be directed toward the Local Control Funding Formula, the governor’s signature school reform. Last week, Brown vetoed a bill authored by Assemblymember Shirley Weber, which would have strengthened the state board’s new school accountability system by making the information more accessible to parents and placing more emphasis on student learning and closing achievement gaps.

California Governor Jerry Brown
California Governor Jerry Brown

On Friday, Governor Brown also vetoed Assemblymember Weber’s bill, AB 2826, which would have refocused the state’s teacher evaluations on student progress and ensuring that districts fairly and meaningfully evaluate educators based on multiple measures — including student academic growth and performance. Students Matter strongly supported AB 2826 and, along with a coalition of education advocacy groups, encouraged the governor to sign the bill.

Assemblymember Shirley Weber addresses the California Senate Education Committee on AB 2548
Assemblymember Shirley Weber addresses the California Senate Education Committee

Students Matter issued a statement in response to the governor’s veto of AB 2826: “We are deeply disappointed in Governor Brown’s decision to veto AB 2826, which would have removed any possible uncertainty over the state’s requirement that teachers be evaluated in a fair and meaningful way using multiple measures, including student progress. We know that student progress is a critical and commonsense component of any meaningful teacher evaluation and that these evaluations help ensure students are learning and teachers are given the support and feedback they need for success in the classroom. That’s why California state law has required the use of student learning and academic growth in teacher evaluations for decades. Unfortunately, evidence shows widespread noncompliance with the existing legal requirement — and even, at times, flagrant violation. That’s not fair to California’s hardworking public school teachers, and it isn’t fair to their students either.”