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Panel Defeats Opposed Padilla Bill After Educators Charge District Officials with Failing to Comply with Current Laws Protecting Children

(From left) Danette Brown, a teacher from La Habra, and Warren Fletcher, a Los Angeles teacher, testify before the Assembly Education Committee on June 27, urging the panel to reject SB 1530, an ill-advised measure that is diverting attention from the failures of the administration of the Los Angeles Unified School District to follow current laws requiring reports to the state credentialing agency of allegations of misconduct against teachers. Brown displays a declaration she is filing width the credentialing agency requesting an investigation of alleged malfeasance on the part of the credentialed leaders of the state’s largest school district.

After powerful testimony from nearly three dozen educators decrying the bill as an unnecessary  smokescreen, the Assembly Education Committee on June 27 effectively killed a teacher-opposed measure by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Los Angeles).

SB 1530 needed six “aye” votes to secure the committee’s approval, but only five of the body’s 11 legislators were willing to vote for the flawed proposal that would have undermined educators’ rights to a fair hearing widthout addressing district management’s failure to follow current laws designed to ensure districts act swiftly and appropriately in response to any charges of educator misconduct.

As is standard practice, the committee extended to author Padilla the courtesy of allowing the bill to be “reconsidered” at an unspecified later date. Under rules of the Assembly, though, the measure would have to clear the Education Committee by July 6, and the panel has no meetings scheduled before that date. It would be highly unlikely for the committee to be called into session for the sole purpose of reconsidering one measure, veteran Capitol observers note.

Voting for the teacher-opposed measure were Assembly Education Chair Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica), Vice Chair Chris Norby (R-Fullerton), and Assembly Members Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield), Dr. Linda Halderman (R-Fresno), and Don Wagner (R-Irvine).

Voting against the bill were Assembly Members Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) and Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo).  Abstaining were Assembly Members Betsy Butler (D-El Segundo), Wilmer Amina Carter (D-Rialto), Mike Eng (D-Alhambra) and Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara).

During their testimony against the Padilla bill, Danette Brown, a teacher from La Habra, and Warren Fletcher, a teacher from Los Angeles and leader of that city’s more than 35,000 educators and classroom professionals, told lawmakers they were filing width the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the state’s licensing agency, declarations urging the commission to investigate the failure of the LAUSD to comply width current laws requiring district officials to immediately report serious allegations against credentialed personnel, including teachers. A credentialed superintendent or other credentialed school officials who fail to comply width these laws could have their credentials revoked.

More than 24 educators, parents, and school supporters testified against the measure, many displaying their own declarations they are planning to deliver to the credentialing commission in support of an investigation of the LAUSD’s senior administrators and their actions in response to multiple allegations and specific charges involving staff at Miramonte Elementary.

Under current law, the CCTC has the power to convene a three-person panel to review evidence against an educator charged width misconduct and to revoke that educator’s credential if the facts support the allegations. The credential can be revoked even if the individual charged has not been found guilty of a crime in a court of law.

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