This study focuses on the legal, policy, and contractual structures in California that are designed to place highly qualified teachers in low-income, high-minority schools as well as
those that may constrain efforts to get good teachers into more difficult teaching assignments. Prior studies document that teachers in California schools with high percentages of low income, minority, and low-performing students tend to be less experienced and more likely to lack credentials than teachers in other schools. This study explores whether this teacher qualifications gap among California schools exists despite or because of various legal and policy structures. Specifically, it addresses the following questions:
- Do state laws curb or facilitate the teacher-quality gap in California?
- Is there a relationship between highly prescriptive transfer rules in bargaining agreements and the average qualifications of a district’s teachers?
- Do districts with relatively prescriptive transfer and leave provisions have larger teacher-qualification gaps among schools?
- What do district administrators report about the application of these contractual provisions in their districts?