Students file lawsuit to eliminate California tenure law they say protects bad teachers

Nine California public school students are suing the state over its laws on teacher tenure, seniority and other protections that the plaintiffs say keep bad educators in classrooms.

The case that goes to trial Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court is the latest battle in a growing nationwide challenge to union-backed protections for teachers.

Lead attorney Theodore J. Boutrous says Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. John Deasy will be called to testify by the plaintiffs.

The nonjury trial is expected to wrap up in March.

States across the nation have recently abolished or weakened union-backed protections to give administrators more flexibility in firing teachers who aren't performing.

Teachers' unions are fighting back, arguing the changes lower morale, deny teachers due process, and unfairly target older teachers.