When Teachers Unions Supported Private School Choice

For those who long to see teachers union representatives offering legislative testimony in support of parental choice of private schools, you’ve come to the right place!  We hearken back to the halcyon days of May, 2001, when the California Legislature’s Senate Education Committee considered a bill authored by former State Senator Ray Haynes.  The measure, SB 715, proposed adding the following section to the California Education Code:

44859.5. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any certificated employee who is employed by a public school shall enroll his or her children who are of compulsory school attendance age in a public school in the school district where the teacher is employed, in the nearest public school district to the employee’s employing district that offers instruction for the appropriate grade level, or in the public school district of the pupil’s place of residency.

Long story short, the bill would have required every California public school teacher to enroll his/her own school-age child(ren) in a public school.  To put it mildly, this didn’t sit well with the committee chair, the late Senator John Vasconcellos, nor was the measure warmly received by the teachers unions, which dispatched representatives to voice opposition to the bill.  Don’t  believe it?  See for yourself!

It may not have been the most eloquent presentation, but Senator Haynes managed to make his point. Whoever said legislative hearings can’t be fun?


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