Bill reforming teacher dismissals goes to governor

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A bill making it easier to fire abusive educators heads to Gov. Jerry Brown two days after a judge found California's teacher tenure laws unconstitutional.

AB215 passed the Assembly on a 76-0 vote Thursday. The bill is carried by Democratic Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan of Alamo after three years of failed legislative attempts to overhaul teacher dismissals.

The bill would create a separate, expedited firing process for teachers accused of abusing students and certain drug crimes. It also accelerates appeals for other dismissals.

AB215 is backed by teachers unions and some education-reform groups but is opposed by school administrators.

On Tuesday, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled that California's laws governing teacher firing and hiring infringe on students' rights to equal education.

Part of the ruling also overturned three laws outlining the procedures school administrators must follow before they can fire teachers for incompetence or criminal activity.