Teacher dismissal bill heads to governor

State Legislature unanimously approves Buchanan/Padilla measure

A bill that would reform the dismissal appeal process for certificated employees is being sent to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature after being passed unanimously by the State Assembly last Thursday.

AB 215, co-authored by State A

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, whose district covers Pleasanton, was also unanimously passed by the State Senate on 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 co-author State Senator 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 and reducing the time to commence the hearing to just six months," she added. "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, the 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.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by guest
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 15, 2014 at 8:55 am

This is going to be fun. People aren't going to know what vitriol to post. "Ha! Let's get those horrible, abusive, lazy, selfish, rotten teaches! It's about time that there be legislation passed that...wait...what? It's supported by who? It's backed by CTA, CFT and CLF?!? But those are UNIONS! Well then, it must be horrible legislation! I'm sure Governor Moonbeam is going to pass it right on through! We have to rise up and fight I for or against this?"

 +   Like this comment
Posted by cosmic-charlie
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 15, 2014 at 9:10 am excellent post and very clever
Well Done!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 15, 2014 at 9:58 am

I heard Jerry Brown speak while between gigs as Mayor and Governor. He said the key to fixing the schools was holding the principals accountable, and giving them the power to fire bad teachers. I don't know if this legislation is written to that end, but yes, I'd expect him to sign it...

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Registered Joe
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Please don't confuse this bill with the court finding this past week concerning the tenure process and subsequent firing of teachers. This bill, which by itself is a step in the right direction, makes it easier to fire teachers accused of misconduct that relates to schools and kids - abuse, drugs, sex. The fact that is was difficult and expensive for a school district to fire a teacher convicted of these types of crimes was a crime in itself.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jun 15, 2014 at 3:18 pm

"In all things, seek the mean"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nonregistered Hank
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 15, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Yes, Registered Joe, we certainly don't want to give teachers the right to a presumption of innocence until (if) found guilty. How American THAT would be.

And, yes, let's not confuse this with the joke of a ruling of a few days ago which will be promptly overturned by a rational court.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Another Joe
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jun 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm

AB 215 is too little, too late.

All the racist laws masquerading as "teacher due process protection" have been thrown out in "Vergara v California". The ruling will be upheld by all state and federal courts for the same reason that Brown v Board of Education will never be overturned.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Registered Joe
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2014 at 10:38 pm

A teacher accused of one of the crimes handled by this bill still has to go through the criminal courts. This bill enables a school district to fire the teacher sooner, and places the responsibility for that firing decision into the hands of an administrative law judge. The process completes in seven months, vs. the years that it can take now.

One of the loopholes that AB215 closes is the ability of a school district to strike a deal with a teacher which expunges the record after some period
of time. The teacher could go on to a different, unsuspecting district.

The court that made the decision in the teacher tenure case also, at the same time, held up its implementation until the state attorney general can decide whether or not to appeal. Don't lose sight of what an appeal means. An appeal is made when a party to the case believes that the issuing court made a judicial error. You can appeal any decision, but can't successfully appeal unless an error is found. You can't do it and expect to win just because you don't like the decision.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Another Joe
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jun 16, 2014 at 6:43 am

Here are the closing arguments of the Vergara case, there really wasn't much of a defense. If they couldn't defend racist tenure laws then, they won't defend it now.

Web Link

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 17, 2014 at 4:11 pm

I agree with registered Joe. I like the thought of a administrative law judge ruling on the termination based on the evidence presented at the administrative law judge hearing. The key is, the terminating supervisor/manager must present the case and the evidence. These days in regular employment termination cases, the defendant appeals the termination which goes to the administrative law judge hearing. Often, the terminating supervisor/manager does not show up at the hearing and the defendant wins by default.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 17, 2014 at 7:44 pm

I agree that an Administrative Law Judge would be an excellent way to manage cases.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 19, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Administrative Law Judge: Web Link

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Another bad idea from the air board
By Tim Hunt | 15 comments | 1,097 views

Exchange Club Meeting on First Amendment
By Roz Rogoff | 0 comments | 574 views