2013 Annual Western Chapters Conference

The Federalist Society
Start : Saturday, January 26, 2013 10:00 AM
End : Saturday, January 26, 2013 04:00 PM

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Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
40 Presidential Drive
(In the Presidential Learning Center)
Simi Valley, CA 93065

The Ronald Reagan Presidential LIbrary
Saturday, January 26, 2013
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

2013 Western Conference


Panel One: Are Vouchers and Charter Schools Viable Alternatives to Public Schools? - Audio
10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Parental and community support for school choice has increased dramatically in recent years, with vouchers, charter schools, home schooling, and other educational alternatives all garnering greater support. Supporters cite gains in reading levels and higher graduation rates amongst reasons why school choice improves education outcomes for low-income, inner-city students. They also cite the importance of offering the same choice in education that higher income families are able to provide. What impediments stand in the way of implementing school choice? How large of a factor is union opposition to school choice? Are unions correct in asserting that vouchers take resources away from the public school system and are financially unaccountable? What about charters? Recently, the California Supreme Court decision upheld the rights of charter schools not to be controlled by the union’s collective bargaining agreements. Will this lead to an increased number of charter schools? How does the national school choice movement encourage reform in California? What trends or alternatives may arise in the future? A panel of experts will discuss these questions and will offer their assessment of school choice programs a decade after Zelman v. Simmons-Harrisopened the door for school choice programs.

  • Prof. Julian Betts, Department of Economics, University of California, San Diego
  • Mr. Clint Bolick, Vice President for Litigation, The Goldwater Institute
  • Prof. Bruce Fuller, Professor, Education and Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley
  • Mr. William R. Maurer, Executive Director, Institute for Justice Washington Chapter (IJ-WA)
  • Hon. Gloria Romero, Democrats for Education Reform and former Democratic Majority Leader, California State Senate (2001-08)
  • Moderator: Hon. Carlos Bea, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit

Panel Two: Recent Lawsuits Challenging Tenure and Pure-Seniority Based Layoffs - Audio
12:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Recent lawsuits have been filed in California challenging the state’s system of tenure and pure-seniority based layoffs. Students Matter recently filed a lawsuit in California seeking to overturn the rules governing the tenure system, which require schools to decide after 18 months whether a teacher deserves tenure, before a performance has been fully documented; to lay off teachers based almost solely on seniority; and to go through a protracted appeals process before laying off a teacher for poor performance. These lawsuits follow earlier suits concerning barring seniority-based lawsuits and the use of student performance in teacher reviews. How will this litigation affect education reform in California? Do other legal impediments stand in the way of a student receiving a quality education? How will the California’s teachers union affect these lawsuits? Do unions impede efforts to remove poor performing teachers, or are they a needed safeguard to ensure both a quality education for students and professional rights for educators?

  • Mr. Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • Mr. Jeremy Rosen, Horvitz & Levy
  • Mr. Richard J. Schwab, Trygstad, Schwab & Trygstad
  • Moderator: Judge Andrew Guilford, U.S. District Court, Central District of California

Same-Sex Marriage Debate - Audio
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

  • Mr. Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
  • Dr. John Eastman, Chapman University School of Law

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