Henry L. Petrino: Voters also have part to play

06/15/2014 7:29 AM

06/15/2014 7:30 AM

Bravo to L.A. Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu for having the courage to stand up for what’s right. Ruling that teacher tenure is unconstitutional is a big step in the right direction.

Of course the unions will appeal, but assuming the ruling stands (as it should), Judge Treu has only started the fight for us. It will be up to all of us who elect our local school boards to send a clear message that we want changes in board policy and labor contracts that reflect this ruling.

Although declared unconstitutional, without such changes in local structure tenure will remain in place as the de facto practice simply not referred to as tenure because its procedures are imbedded in board policy and union contracts. Even in the absence of tenure as law, the content of policy and contracts will mean tenure doesn’t go away unless we drive its practices out of our system.

Without a strong constituency message, boards will undoubtedly allow things to continue as before by default. When an issue comes up, there will be a shrug and a statement referring to policy and labor contract in explanation why nothing has changed. Speak up for what’s right!

Henry L. Petrino, Modesto

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