Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, released the following statement in response to today's decision in the Vergara v. California case, in which a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that three state laws regarding teacher tenure and dismissal are unconstitutional because they infringe upon poor and minority students' right to an equitable education:
"Judge Treu's ruling affirms the simple and undeniable premise that every child, regardless of background or zip code, has the right to a high-quality education and an effective teacher. It is not only Californians who should celebrate today's decision, but families in every state and school district across the country.
"For years, our nation's courts have been the arbiter of equity in education. Like Brown v. Board, Serrano, Butt, and the many other landmark educational equality cases before it, Vergara will help refocus our education system on the needs of students.
"Unfortunately, school districts nationwide have policies in place that mirror those challenged in Vergara--policies that constrain the ability of schools to put the very best teachers in front the children that need them most. This is simply indefensible. Today's ruling puts every school with similar policies on notice.
"I call upon all stakeholders in my home state--elected officials, community and school leaders, and teachers--to be bold and do what is right for kids. This is an historic opportunity and a defining moment for California, one that we must not squander. The Vergara decision underscores the state's responsibility to protect the rights of children to constitutionally mandated equal educational opportunities. We owe it to the six million students in California's public education system to be thoughtful and deliberate, and to put their needs first as we move forward."