Prop. 74 would extend the probationary period for teachers to become
“permanent” employees from two to five consecutive years. The rule would
affect any teacher who has been employed for less than two years.
It also adds a new means of firing teachers who have reached permanent, or
tenured, status. Teachers who receive two consecutive unsatisfactory
evaluations could be dismissed by the district, though the teacher would
have a right to an administrative hearing.
There are two principal contentions around Prop. 74: whether it is currently
easy and cheap enough to fire bad teachers, and whether the measure would
take money from schools.
Currently, teachers can be fired for a wide variety of offenses, such as
criminal or unprofessional acts, physical or mental impairment, substance
abuse, refusal to obey school rules, or “unsatisfactory performance.”
Proponents say that under current rules, it is too difficult and expensive
to show unsatisfactory performance, something they say would be addressed by
new evaluations rule.
According to the independent legislative analyst, two years to reach tenure
places California near the low end of U.S. states: Nine other states require
only two years, while three state require only one. A five-year rule would
place California at the extreme high end with only Indiana and Missouri. The
analyst also said that the rule could lead to less experienced teachers and
fewer people entering the field; the fiscal impact was unclear.
Whether Prop. 74 passes or not, California teachers are not be allowed be
members of the Communist Party.