There has been much attention directed at teacher tenure in La Cañada in recent weeks. Is teacher tenure the problem? A school board member asked this question publicly and responded by saying, “Yes.”
My first response to this is to say that teachers and certificated staff members in California do not have tenure. Tenure is a right only given in particular professions such as university professors. Elementary teachers, secondary teachers and other certificated staff members are granted “permanent status” after completing two years of probationary status. Probationary status is often preceded by three years of temporary status, during which all contracts are for one year.
Temporary teachers must reapply, reinterview and be observed a minimum of three times in order to be rehired. The following probationary period is a time when teachers can be non-reelected, or let go without the district's administration needing to give a specific reason. Due process is given to certificated staff members once they are granted permanent status.