Claudia Briggs 916-296-4087
AB 215 passes unanimously out of Senate and Assembly
SACRAMENTO – Legislation to streamline the teacher dismissal process, AB 215 by Assembly Member Joan Buchanan and principal co-authors Senators Lou Correa and Alex Padilla, passed unanimously out of the Senate and Assembly and is now headed to the governor’s desk for his signature. AB 215 prioritizes, updates and streamlines the teacher discipline and dismissal process – saving time and money, while protecting students and ensuring an educator's rights to due process.
“We have long supported changes to the dismissal process. Passage of AB 215 addresses our concerns of keeping students safe, safeguarding the integrity of the profession, and protecting the due process rights of educators,” said CTA President Dean E. Vogel. “Students and families in our communities can be reassured knowing there are immediate protections for students and a streamlined and shortened dismissal process to ensure egregious charges against teachers are handled fairly and in a timely manner.”
AB 215 updates and prioritizes the teacher discipline and dismissal appeal process with the goals of keeping students safe, saving time and money, and ensuring due process rights for educators.
The bill creates a separate hearing process for education employees charged with egregious misconduct, including child abuse, sexual abuse and certain drug offenses. Districts are required to start these egregious misconduct cases within 60 days of a complaint being filed. The case will be heard by an administrative law judge and that decision will be binding.
“Unanimous, bipartisan passage of this bill flies in the face of this week’s flawed ruling in the deceptive lawsuit, Vergara v. State of California, and clearly shows that changes to education laws can and do happen through the legislative process where parents, teachers, community members and all education stakeholders have the opportunity for input, discussion and debate,” added Vogel. “This manufactured lawsuit was not about helping students, but yet another attempt by millionaires and corporate special interests to undermine the teaching profession and push their agenda on California public schools and students.”
Following the right process, rather than wasting money in the courts, educators, lawmakers, and education community groups came together to work on AB 215 for the sake of keeping students safe and honoring due process rights for educators. The governor is expected to sign the bill into law in the days ahead.
CTA is appealing the Los Angeles Superior Court decision that attacked the professional rights of educators that allows them to speak up for their students and provides a due process hearing before being dismissed.
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.