Former Superintendent Jonathan Raymond, Sacramento City Unified School District
“This spring, our district’s ‘Teachers of the Year’ – a seventh–‐grade language arts instructor and a sixth grade teacher – were pinked slipped along with dozens of others as we made cuts necessary to balance the district’s budget. Both are excellent instructors with track records for improving student learning. But because current California law requires teachers with less seniority to be laid off first – without regard to their impact on student learning – they received letters telling them they would not be returning to their classrooms. Fortunately, their pink slips were eventually rescinded and both are back at their campuses. The same cannot be said of many of their colleagues in similar situations across our district and across California.
Teachers like our ‘Teachers of the Year’ can and do have a lasting positive impact on the lives of students and on the future of our state. Therefore, I am encouraged by the recently filed case, Vergara v. California, which seeks to overturn outdated provisions that hinder the recruitment, development, support and retention of our best teachers. The case is supported by a diverse coalition of statewide education organizations. I, too, support the case. I also support working together with our collective bargaining partners to change the current system for reviewing teacher performance in a way that protects due process rights and supports and develops our teachers. Teachers – trained, supported and working together – are a school system’s greatest resource. This asset must be protected.”
Superintendent Jonathan P. Raymond
Sacramento City Unified School District