The Alum Rock Union School District is no longer a target in a lawsuit that seeks to overturn laws protecting teachers.

The suit claims that teacher tenure, dismissal procedures and seniority-based layoffs violate the constitutional right to a fair education.

The state of California, the Oakland Unified School District, and two teacher unions remain as respondents.

Alum Rock and Los Angeles Unified school districts have negotiated settlements and were dismissed from the case last week. The districts agreed to pay their own legal expenses to date, about $140,000 in Alum Rock's case, some of which has been covered by insurance, Superintendent Stephen Fiss said.

"We believed all along that this legal dispute really was not a district matter," Fiss said. "The legislation we follow is statewide."

The suit, Vergara vs. California, was filed by Students Matter, a Silicon Valley-based reform group. The suit was filed in the names of nine schoolchildren, including one in Alum Rock. Her mother, Karen Martinez, won a seat on the Alum Rock school board after the suit was filed.

Sharon Noguchi, staff



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