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Vergara v. California, 2014

Vergara v. California is a lawsuit in the California state courts which deals with a child's right to education and to instruction by effective teachers. The suit was filed in May 2012 by lawyers for nine public school students. It alleged that several California statutes violated the California Constitution by retaining some grossly ineffective teachers and thus denying equal protection to students assigned to these teachers. Further, according to the complaint, these statutes had a disparate impact on poor and minority students who were more likely to be assigned to a grossly ineffective teacher. My declaration in opposition to defendant’s motion for summary judgment was filed in November 2013 on behalf of the State of California. Court testimony was subsequently provided in March 2014 after the summary judgment motion was rejected and the trial proceeded.

In June 2014 after a two-month trial, Judge Rolf M. Treu of the California Superior Court issued a preliminary ruling finding that all of the statutes challenged by the plaintiff students were unconstitutional. In August 2014 this ruling was finalized. It was subsequently appealed by Governor Jerry Brown and the California teachers union.

In April 2016, the Court of Appeal overturned the lower court ruling. In June 2016, I filed an amicus letter, urging the California Supreme Court to review and reverse the decision of the Court of Appeal.