This summer, in response to the Vergara v. California decision on teacher tenure in that state, Tennessee State Senator Dolores Gresham asked the Attorney General for an opinion on whether Tennessee’s tenure laws violated the state constitution’s protection of a student’s right to a free education of the state or federal equal protection clauses.
The short answer: No. The state’s teacher employment laws do not violate a student’s right to a free education.
Here’s the full opinion.
On the equal protection issues, the AG noted that Tennessee’s laws require a longer probationary period before tenure is awarded and that Tennessee’s dismissal process for tenured teachers is clear, fast, and relatively inexpensive.
Thanks to Tennessee Education Matters for their coverage of this issue.
For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport