Assemblywoman Shirley Weber after her re-election last year. Photo by Chris Stone

A bill introduced by San Diego Assemblymember Shirley Weber would give new public school teachers in California more time to achieve tenure.

Weber’s bill, which will be considered in committee later this month, would increase the probationary period for new teachers to three years from the current two.

AB 1220 would also give school districts the option to add another year or two to the process, provided a teacher receives additional mentoring and professional development.

“For students to succeed, we must provide teachers with what they need to achieve success in the classroom,” said Weber. “AB 1220 will provide the extra time and support essential for teachers to demonstrate success and be recognized for their hard work.”

Weber, a former university professor and San Diego Unified board member, said the extra time to ensure new teachers can succeed is especially important because the state faces a significant teacher shortage.

“Teachers will tell you that they need more than two years to develop and to earn tenure,” said Lester Vasquez, a 2013-14 teacher of the year in the Los Angeles Unified district. “By raising the benchmark for tenure, AB 1220 benefits teachers, principals and students in California’s public schools.”

California’s current rules give teachers full job security after just two years, and in some cases 18 months, in the classroom. Most states require three to five years.

In 2005, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger backed Proposition 74, which would have extended teacher probation from two years to five. The measure was soundly rejected by voters amid strong opposition from teachers unions, which have indicated they will probably oppose Weber’s bill.

Weber, a Democrat, represents the 79th District, which stretches from Kearny Mesa to San Ysidro in east San Diego.

Show comments

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.