A bill that would reform the dismissal appeal process for certificated employees is being sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature after being passed unanimously by the Assembly last Thursday.
Assembly Bill 215, co-authored by Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) whose district covers the San Ramon Valley, was also unanimously passed by the State Senate last Monday.
"All parents should have confidence that their child's school is a safe and nurturing environment. AB 215 will create a streamlined and fair process for dismissing school personnel charged with egregious misconduct. It will protect our children while maintaining important due process rights for educators," said State Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima).
According to Buchanan, the current dismissal appeal process takes too long and requires too much money.
"The only ones that benefit are attorneys," she added.
"AB 215 protects children by expediting the dismissal process of teachers who engage in egregious misconduct, such as child abuse, sexual abuse and certain drug crimes," said assemblywoman Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto), principal co-author of the bill and vice chair of the Assembly Education Committee. "It also improves a school's ability to remove ineffective teachers by streamlining the dismissal appeal process for poor performance, reducing the time to commence the hearing to just six months. After years of trying, this is a positive step toward education reforms that are good for students, parents, and teachers, and I am really pleased that this measure received such a wide range of support."
Supporters of the bill include the California Teachers Association, EdVoice, California State PTA, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, Students First, Crime Victims United, Child Abuse Prevention Council, California Federation of Teachers and the California Labor Federation.