“Great Teachers for Every Child: A Matter of Social Justice,”
synthesizes research and analysis of California’s schools, and reveals importantinsights on how the state’s bureaucratic seniority-based layoff policydisproportionately impacts low-income and minority communities, particularlyAfrican-Americans and Latinos. The brief also addresses the impact of thestate budget crisis on teacher layoffs under California’s seniority-based policy.
Every Child Deserves A Great Teacher
The research is clear that teacher quality is the most important in-school factorimpacting student achievement.
A highly effective teacher generates an estimated 50 percent more learning than an average teacher.
The impact of effective teachers goes far beyond the classroom. Students of effective teachersare more likely to attend college, attend higher-ranked colleges, earn higher salaries, live in betterneighborhoods, and have lower rates of teen pregnancy.
A Matter of Educational Equity and Social Justice
Given the stark reality of the impact of California’s policy, ending seniority-basedlayoffs is a social justice imperative.
Seniority-based layoffs do nothing to protect effective teachers and cause more classrooms to bedisrupted by budget cuts, meaning more students lose more great teachers.
Low-income children of color are disproportionately impacted because they are more likely to attendschools employing teachers subject to layoffs.
Under the current system, the state’s schools serving the:
Highest-poverty populations would lose close to 30 percent more teachers than wealthiercounterparts.
Highest-minority populations would lose 60 percent more teachers than those schools servingthe lowest-minority populations.
California is one of only 11 states that mandates seniority-based teacher layoffs,
which aggravate the impact of California’s budget decit on teachers and students in
low-income, high-minority schools.The time has come to reform ineffective policies like California’s seniority-based layoff
system, and to put students rst.