Assembly Moves Teacher and Student Success Act
SACRAMENTO – The California State Assembly passed AB 1220, legislation authored by Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber that would update the state’s teacher tenure law for the first time in decades. The bill received bipartisan support on a 61-4 vote.
“This is an incremental change, but a necessary one,” Weber said. “For some teachers, the current 18-month timeline is not sufficient to develop and demonstrate their classroom skills. AB 1220 provides an extra year for those who need extra time and support before a critical decision is made about their careers.”
Currently, California teachers only have two years in which to demonstrate effectiveness in the classroom, a timeline that is shortened to 18 months because of the mandatory March 15th deadline for districts to offer tenure. If a teacher does not demonstrate classroom readiness before a tenure decision can be made, they do not get a second chance in that district. AB 1220 would provide that second chance for teachers who need a little more time.
California has one of the shortest times for a teacher to demonstrate classroom readiness and achieve permanent status. Forty-two states provide teachers three to five years in the classroom to demonstrate success and earn tenure.
A statewide survey of 506 teachers in traditional California schools found that 85 percent of teachers think that tenure decisions should be made after at least three years of classroom instruction. Only 15 percent of teachers found California’s current two-year timeline was sufficient.
Two teacher organizations, Teach Plus and Educators for Excellence sponsored the bill. The bill is also supported by California Chapter of the PTA, the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) and other educational and equity organizations. The bill moves to State Senate consideration later this summer.