Education A State Capitals Roundup

Tenure, Dues Plans Qualify for Calif. Ballot

By Caroline Hendrie — June 14, 2005 1 min read

Proposed ballot initiatives on teacher tenure and the political use of union dues qualified last week for the next statewide elections in California.

The measures, both strongly opposed by the state’s teachers’ unions, would be put before voters this fall if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger calls a special election, a decision he is expected to make as early as this week.

The Republican governor supports the teacher-tenure initiative as part of a broader “reform agenda” that calls for revamping the legislative-redistricting and state-budgeting processes.

To earn tenure, public school teachers would have to work five consecutive years, rather than two, under the plan. They could also be fired if they receive two unsatisfactory job evaluations in a row.

Mr. Schwarzenegger has not yet taken a stance on the union-dues initiative, which supporters call “paycheck protection.” Public-employee unions would have to get written permission from their members to use individuals’ dues money for political purposes, under the proposal.

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