The Honorable Toni Atkins
Senate President pro Tempore
State Capitol, Room 205
Sacramento, California 95814
The Honorable Anthony Rendon
Speaker of the Assembly
State Capitol, Room 219
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear President pro Tem Atkins and Speaker Rendon:
We, the undersigned California public school teachers, have come together to develop and advocate for common sense solutions for teachers and students. We believe that the Teacher and Student Success Act (AB 3091), a modest change to current permanent status laws, is just such a solution. But we are disheartened and frustrated to hear that the bill will not be heard in the Senate Education Committee because of something that happened behind the scenes.
Many of us came together almost four years ago to develop proposals for how we can better support and retain effective teachers for every student in California. One area we explored was how we can ensure that new teachers have the time and support they need to grow into professional educators. We committed to working with Assemblymember Shirley Weber to help lead this essential policy improvement. After two years working through the legislative process, we have arrived at this historic moment with AB 3091.
Our original bill, AB 1220, reflected all of our priorities. But as we have learned working on this legislation, compromise is a fundamental part of the legislative and policy making process. We were told we could not make necessary amendments to AB 1220 to ensure it represented our minimum requirements but could amend a different vehicle. The legislation we ended up with, AB 3091, simply extends the period before which educators can earn permanent status from two to three years. We believe that extending the period for earning permanent makes sense for teachers, students and parents. New teachers will have more time to develop their craft, will benefit from the added support of administrators and veteran teachers, and evolve into the effective teachers our students need.
We were prepared to make our case for this bill in a public hearing in the Senate Education Committee on June 27th but have been informed that we will not be afforded a hearing; our voices will not be heard. These closed door dealings have only reinforced our worst fears about how our lawmakers behave. We still believe that teacher voice is essential to developing policies that affect our profession and students. But how can those voices be heard in a meaningful way if we cannot even get a hearing?
We respectfully ask that you allow our voices to be heard and consider AB 3091, the Teacher and Student Success Act.
William “Kip” Morales
Lisa Quon Heinsen
Dr. Amelia Herrera- Evans
Dr. Laurie Walters
CC: Assemblymember Shirley Weber