Education Panel Passes CTA-sponsored Measure to Help Protect Students Against Abuse
The Assembly Education Committee has approved AB 449, a CTA-sponsored measure by Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance). The bill is designed to force superintendents to report to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) cases of teachers accused of verbal, physical, or sexual abuse who leave district employment under these “adverse” actions.
Specifically, the measure is designed to make sure superintendents report allegations against these teachers so that the CCTC can investigate the situation and revoke teachers’ credentials if facts warrant the action.
The bill, the author told committee members, derived from abuse charges at Miramonte Elementary in Los Angeles last year. He also said a state audit found that required reports were not made to the CCTC, and an educator was allowed to work in another district, where additional allegations surfaced.
AB 449 would give the CCTC the power to investigate a superintendent’s failure to make these reports. The CCTC could revoke the credential of a superintendent who fails to protect students by carrying out these responsibilities. The bill would also empower local district attorneys to file misdemeanor charges against a non-credentialed superintendent, who is not subject to credential revision.
CTA testified, as did Michael Rothschild, an attorney and expert witness, who pointed out the failures of current law to provide penalties against superintendents who do not make responsible reports. The measure, he noted, would also penalize superintendents for filing frivolous or unwarranted reports.