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      Teacher tenure ruling fuels debate

      Some local teachers are concerned about a Los Angeles judgeâ??s ruling that public school teacher tenure is unconstitutional.

      It comes after 9 students sued their school district because of complaints of incompetent teachers.

      Some Columbia teachers said this west coast ruling could impact Missouri laws regarding teacher hiring and firing.

      Columbia West Middle School Sixth Grade English Teacher Kari Schuster is also the President of the Columbia Missouri State Teachersâ?? Association. She said the California ruling denying public school teacher tenure is part of a bigger debate across the country including Missouri.

      Schuster said, â??If a teacher is doing their job and doing it well, then they should be guaranteed a job in an area where they are respected and also in an area where they have put their time in.â??

      Opponents of public school teacher tenure said it sometimes drives away excellent young teachers while letting older, incompetent teachers stay in the classroom.

      Teachers who support tenure said any job protection attracts talented teachers to a job that doesnâ??t pay well. They said tenured teachers are more qualified to teach.

      Columbia Alpha Hart-Lewis Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Susan McClintic is also the President of the Columbia Missouri National Education Association. She said in most cases, tenured teachers do not slack off even though they know they have job security.

      McClintic said, â??I think it does just the opposite to guarantee them their right to due process. It allows them to be able to advocate, particularly, for their students.â??

      McClintic expects the Los Angeles ruling to be overruled in a higher court. She said historically, higher courts have always supported teachers.

      Court officials said appeals are likely to reach the California Supreme Court.