Teaching Profession

Calif. Restricts Teacher Transfers

By Jessica L. Tonn — October 24, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

What’s the easiest way to get rid of bad teachers?

Many principals would probably say that the answer is not to fire them, but to ask them to transfer voluntarily to another school in the district, a tactic sometimes referred to as “passing the trash.”

California principals, though, may have a tougher time transferring such teachers in 2007. According to a new law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, districts will no longer be able to transfer teachers into the state’s lowest-performing schools if the principals there don’t want them.

And in other schools, teachers seeking transfers will only get priority over other applicants before April 15, rather than well into the summer, as is the case in many districts in the state.

But not everyone sees the new law as a step in the right direction.

The California Teachers Association lobbied against the legislation. The union says that teacher transfers are not the reason low-performing schools have trouble attracting and retaining highly qualified teachers.

Rather, districts should focus their efforts on creating smaller classes, hiring talented principals, maintaining safe and clean buildings, and providing first-rate instructional materials and more school counselors, said Barbara E. Kerr, the president of the 340,000-member CTA.

The union did lobby successfully for passage of another bill with teacher-quality and other provisions that will require that the average level of classroom teaching experience be the same in all schools within a district.

Both bills were signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, last month.

Other states interested in restricting teacher transfers will be watching California, said Michelle Rhee, the president and chief executive office of the New Teacher Project, a New York City-based organization that helps districts recruit, select, and train new educators.

Ms. Rhee also said that the passage of the California transfer bill could send an important message to states.

Referring to the CTA and the United Federation of Teachers, the New York City union that fought against a similar district-level teacher-transfer policy, she said: “If you can get provisions past these unions, you can get them through.”

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the October 25, 2006 edition of Education Week


Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum How to Teach Digital & Media Literacy in the Age of AI
Join this free event to dig into crucial questions about how to help students build a foundation of digital literacy.
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Privacy & Security Webinar
Navigating Modern Data Protection & Privacy in Education
Explore the modern landscape of data loss prevention in education and learn actionable strategies to protect sensitive data.
Content provided by  Symantec & Carahsoft

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Teachers' Favorite Reads This Summer
Teachers shared some of their summer book selections, with a wide variety of subject matter and genres.
2 min read
Woman reading book in hammock
Liz Yap/Education Week and iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession The Truth About Teachers' Summers
Teachers endure many misperceptions about their jobs. Perhaps the most egregious has to do with their summer break.
5 min read
Orange sandals by a pool.
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words How This 'Goofy Science Teacher' Made It to the U.S. Open in Golf
High school science teacher and golf coach Colin Prater just played in one of the world's most prestigious golf tournaments.
6 min read
Colin Prater hits his tee shot on the 10th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf tournament on June 12, 2024, in Pinehurst, N.C.
Colin Prater hits his tee shot on the 10th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf tournament on June 12, 2024, in Pinehurst, N.C.
Frank Franklin II/AP
Teaching Profession Teachers: Start Your School Supplies Shopping Now With These Discounts
As teachers start back-to-school shopping, Education Week compiled a list of educator discounts that can reduce costs.
3 min read
Photo of school supplies.