Tenure opponent says public schools must improve

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The man behind the successful lawsuit to declare California's teacher-tenure laws unconstitutional is a wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneur who says he has no gripe with teachers unions, only incompetent teachers.

David Welch, an electrical engineer who holds over 130 patents and has made a fortune merging and creating high-tech companies, began to turn his attention to education in 2011 when he founded the nonprofit Students Matter.

The group was the driving financial force behind a student lawsuit that led to Tuesday's Superior Court ruling throwing out tenure protection for California teachers.

Welch says it was his experience as both a parent and an employer that led him to realize public education needed an overhaul.

He says he wants to make it easier to fire bad teachers and keep good ones.

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