Dismissal bill falters in Assembly

With teachers and organized labor rallying against what they called an unnecessary attack on their rights, a bill that would make it easier to fire teachers and administrators accused of serious sexual and violent offenses against children failed to pass the Assembly Education Committee on Wednesday. Sen. Alex Padilla’s controversial SB 1530 will be dead for the session unless he can persuade one more Democrat to reverse positions within the next week .

The bill had bipartisan support in the Senate, where it passed 33-4, but, in a test of strength by the California Teachers Association, only one Democrat, Education Committee Chairwoman Julia Brownley, and all four Republicans backed it in the crucial committee vote. The other six Democrats either voted buy clomid online against it (Tom Ammiano, San Francisco; Joan Buchanan, San Ramon) or didn’t vote (Betsy Butler, El Segundo; Wilmer Carter, Rialto; Mike Eng, Alhambra; and Das Williams, Santa Barbara).

The bill follows shocking incidents of sexual abuse in Los Angeles Unified and elsewhere, the worst of which involved Mark Berndt, 61, who’s been accused of 23 lewd acts against children at Miramonte Elementary in LAUSD. Padilla, a Democrat from Van Nuys, said SB 1530 responded to complaints from superintendents and school board members that it takes too long and is too expensive to fire teachers facing even the worst of charges. Rather than go through hearings and potential appeals, LAUSD paid Berndt $40,000, including legal fees, to drop the appeal of his firing.

Under current law, dismissal cases against teachers and administrators go before a three-person Commission on Professional Competence, which includes two teachers and buy amoxil online an administrative law judge. Its decision can be appealed in Superior Court.

Narrow band of ‘egregious’ cases

SB 1530 would have carved out a narrow band of exceptions applying to “egregious or serious” offenses by teachers and administrators involving drugs, sex, and violence against children. In those cases, the competence commission would be replaced by a hearing before an administrative law judge whose strictly advisory recommendation would go to the local school board for a final decision, appealable in court.

The bill also would have made admissible evidence of misconduct older than four years. Berndt had prior reports of abuse that had been removed from his file,  because a statute of limitations in the teachers contract in LAUSD prohibited their use.

School boards already have final say over dismissal of school employees other than teachers and administrators, so the bill would extend that to efforts to remove “a very creepy teacher” from the classroom,” as Oakley Union Elementary School District Superintendent Richard Rogers put it. “What is more fundamental than locally elected officials responsible for hiring and dismissal?” he asked.

The bill has the support of the administrators and school boards associations, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and the LAUSD president, Monica Garcia, who described her fellow board members as “seven union-friendly Democrats” who want to “get rid of people who will hurt our children.”

Current law works

But Warren Fletcher, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, countered that “SB 1530 solves nothing, places teachers at unfair risk, and diverts attention from the real accountability issues at LAUSD.” Turning the tables, Fletcher, CTA President Dean Vogel, and others have filed statements with the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing to investigate Superintendent John Deasy’s handling of misconduct allegations in the district.

The argument that current law works resonated with Buchanan, who served two decades on the San Ramon Valley School Board. Calling the bill “intellectually dishonest” because nothing can prevent another Miramonte from happening, she said, “We never had problems dismissing employees.” She acknowledged that the “long, expensive dismissal process” needs to be streamlined, but the bill doesn’t get it right. A teacher at a school in her legislative district was accused of sexual misconduct by a student who got a bad grade. That teacher “deserves due process.”

The two teachers on the Commission on Professional Competence provide professional judgment that’s needed to protect the rights of employees, said Patricia Rucker, a CTA lobbyist who’s also a State Board of Education member. “We do value the right to participate and adjudicate standards for holding teachers accountable,” she said.

Fletcher said that school boards would be subject to parental pressure in emotionally charged cases, and, as a policy body, should not be given judicial power. Assemblyman Ammiano, a former teacher, agreed. “A school board is not the one to make the decision,” he said.

Julia  Brownley said that she too was concerned about false charges against teachers but would support the bill, for it “will give districts tools” for rare circumstances. The bill would make the dismissal process more efficient and definitive. And she agreed with Padilla that the bill ensured due process for teachers, who’d be allowed to present their case, with witnesses, before an administrative judge and appeal an adverse decision to Superior Court.

Oakley Superintendent Richards said that the CTA misstated what SB 1530 does and “has taken such an extreme position on this issue that they have lost credibility.” The union’s real fear is that the bill will be “a nose under the camel’s tent” to change the dismissal process for all teachers. And that, he said, is unfounded.

Padilla was to have issued a statement last night on the setback in the committee but didn’t. Update: Padilla issued a statement this morning that reads, in part:  “SB 1530 was narrowly crafted to focus only on cases in which school employees are accused of sex, violence, or drug use with children. It is difficult to understand why anyone would oppose a measure to protect children. It is very disappointing.”

Author: John Fensterwald - Educated Guess

John Fensterwald, a journalist at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, edits and co-writes "Thoughts on Public Education in California" (www.TOPed.org), one of the leading sources of California education policy reporting and opinion, which he founded in 2009. For 11 years before that, John wrote editorials for the Mercury News in San Jose, with a focus on education. He worked as a reporter, news editor and opinion editor for three newspapers in New Hampshire for two decades before receiving a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University in 1997 and heading West shortly thereafter. His wife is an elementary school teacher and his daughter attends the University California at Davis.

4 thoughts on “Dismissal bill falters in Assembly”

  1. ?Essay producing in A-Level Biology
    Essay producing in A-level Biology
    Guidance on how to construct the A2 Biology essay .
    Whenever they hear the word essay, most people panic about how to write down one particular: they are not sure how a lot to write down or how substantially scientific knowledge and data they need to get to include or recall. In various in the A-Level Biology courses it takes the type in the Synoptic essay. You will will want to demonstrate your ability to bring together principles and concepts from different areas of Biology, and express these ideas in the clear and reasonable manner. You must also be able to construct a reasonable size of beneficial high-quality written operate for a given topic, usually amongst 1000- 2000 words (3-4 A4 size web pages). So how do you start off to construct one particular?
    In this article are several tips I have written to guide you through the operation.
    When creating a Biology essay, marks are awarded for your scientific content, the coverage belonging to the topic and for its coherence. A synoptic type essay is usually marked out of twenty five marks and you have about 35-45 minutes to write down just one.
    General principles for marking the Essay. Total marks twenty five marks
    The four Talent AREAS which you will be marked for are: scientific content . breadth of knowledge . relevance and outstanding of language .
    The break down for the marks for just about every of your skills are revealed below with some guidance notes.
    Excellent/Good (12-16 marks)
    For you to definitely gain the big marks, the essay should cover all the main areas relevant to the topic and must include discussion of each and every area with suitable examples. All the material must be relevant to the topic in addition to the essay should only contain very handful of factual errors.
    A very well balanced account, making reference to most areas that may be realistically covered in an A-level course of study.
    Quite a few aspects covered but a lack of balance or it is really an unbalanced account. Some topics essential to an understanding at this degree missed out and not covered. Material entirely irrelevant.
    All material presented is clearly relevant to the title.
    Material generally selected in service of title but many of the main content for the essay is only marginally important or largely irrelevant material.
    Excellent quality of Written Communication ( maximum 3 marks )
    All material is logically presented in clear English. Quality use of technical terminology employed effectively and accurately .Essay is of high quality duration 2-4 internet pages in size
    Essay very short or below one particular web site in size. Poorly constructed essay and which often fails make use of an suitable scientific style and terminology to express ideas.
    It is essential that you choose to must PLAN your essay carefully. This will take all over 5 minutes. Bullet point or jot down key words, diagrams or a construct a mind map Into your plan. Include a brief introduction including a summary to summarize the main points.
    On the introduction, you should explain the meaning of any ‘key-terms’ mentioned inside title as well as the outline within the main points to be covered during the essay.
    The essay MUST be written as a piece of continuous prose: Whilst producing the essay DO NOT use subheadings, bullet points, ie (1) (two) or (a),(b) etc.
    Aim to spend 25-30 minutes creating the essay and 5 minutes for the close to check out carefully through the essay to make any amendments.
    Why not utilize the four keys skills revealed higher than to construct and structure your essay and have a go at practising composing one particular of these essays?
    Synoptic. Past essay questions
    The system of diffusion & its importance in living organisms.
    The biological importance of water
    ATP and its role in living organisms.
    Carbon dioxide in organisms and ecosystems.
    How bacteria affect human lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *