Buchanan Bill on Teacher Dismissal Heads to Governor’s Desk

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Joan Buchanan

(Sacramento, CA)—This week, the Legislature cast two important votes on AB 215, a bill to reform the dismissal appeal process for certificated employees authored by Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (D-San Ramon).  On Monday, the Senate voted unanimously to pass AB 215.  Principal co-author Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) presented the bill to his Senate colleagues, emphasizing the importance of ensuring student safety.

“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 Padilla.

Today, the Assembly voted unanimously to pass AB 215, sending the bill to Governor Brown for his signature.

Assemblymember Buchanan stated, “We all agree that the current dismissal appeal process takes too long and costs too much money.  The only ones who benefit are attorneys.  The public demands a process that is fair and efficient and responds to the needs of school districts to efficiently manage their work force. AB 215 accomplishes these goals, and I want to thank both CTA and EdVoice for their willingness to continue to work on this issue.”

“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 Assemblymember 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, 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.

Visit Assemblymember Buchanan’s website and Facebook page.