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California Gov. Vetoes Teacher-Dismissal Bill

California Gov. Jerry Brown today vetoed a controversial piece of legislation that would have made changes to the process for dismissing teachers for misconduct.

The bill was supported by the California Teachers Association, which said it would update and streamline the process. But opponents, including the state school boards association and a variety of advocacy organizations contended it actually would have extended the process and limited the amount of evidence that could be presented. 

The teacher-dismissal process, which in California can take more than year with appeals, has been the subject of much debate since the abuse scandal at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles. 

The bill, AB 375, would have allowed dismissal notices to be filed in the summer and to consider evidence more than four years old. On the other hand, it would have restricted the number of witnesses that could be deposed in hearings, and made it more difficult for districts to amend charges against the teachers. Supporters and proponents also disagreed about how the bill's timelines for the commencement and the conclusion of a hearing would play out on the ground.

Last year, one of the bill's coauthors, Sen. Alex Padilla, sponsored a dismissal proposal considered much tougher than AB 375 and giving school boards, rather than arbitrators, the final say on dismissal. That bill died last year after being opposed by the CTA, among others. 

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