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ERIC Number: ED523551
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
Teacher Employment and Collective Bargaining Laws in California: Structuring School District Discretion over Teacher Employment. Policy Brief 11-2
Koski, William S.; Tang, Aaron
Policy Analysis for California Education, PACE (NJ3)
There is broad agreement that teacher quality is related to student achievement, but there is far less agreement about the degree to which school districts and administrators are constrained in making policies to improve teacher quality that might also affect teacher employment and working conditions. Conventional wisdom holds that state law and the collective bargaining agreements governed by state law often hamper districts' discretion over teacher hiring, firing, evaluation, compensation, and assignment. Although California collective bargaining agreements have received some attention from researchers we know far less about whether, and to what extent, California law constrains or facilitates district-level discretion over teacher employment policies and practices. This policy brief examines that issue. We focus on California and examine the extent to which the legal structure governing the employment and collective bargaining relationship between school districts and teachers constrains administrative and school board decision-making. Our strategy is to classify various aspects of the teacher-school district employment relationship into one of four categories. These categories reflect the level of discretion that districts enjoy over any given employment-related condition. We then analyze the teacher employment and collective bargaining laws in four other large and diverse states using that same four-tiered analytic framework. We conclude that California statutory law regarding teacher employment and collective bargaining, although quite similar to the law in those states, is somewhat more constraining of administrative decision-making in teacher employment matters. Whether this is helpful or harmful to students is entirely another question. (Contains 3 tables and 30 endnotes.)
Policy Analysis for California Education, PACE. 3653 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1670. Tel: 510-642-7223; Fax: 510-642-9148; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: James Irvine Foundation; William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Authoring Institution: Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE)
Identifiers - Location: California; Florida; Illinois; New York; Texas