CSBA Issues Statement to Teacher Dismissal Bill AB 215
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The following statement was issued by CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy of the California School Boards Association (CSBA):
“Recent press reports have indicated that AB 215 by Assembly Education Committee Chairwoman Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) represents an agreement on the issue of teacher dismissal that involved the education community. Discussions on the drafting of the bill included the California Teachers Association, some members of the business community and the Governor.
However, it’s important to note that it's our understanding that the professionals who conduct termination proceedings, and the elected officials who make the termination decisions were not involved in crafting this approach. One obvious example is the fact that charges of violent and serious felonies are not included as a reason for a mandatory leave of absence. This is a small example of not having a complete effort by the education community to ensure the safety of our students. While there are a number of positive aspects of AB 215, there are also a number of deficiencies that do not adequately address and protect our students, parents and staff.
CSBA has been committed to reforming the teacher dismissal process and recently sponsored Senate Bill 843 introduced by Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana). SB 843 streamlines the process for cases involving teacher behavior that could jeopardize student safety, including egregious conduct. SB 843 makes the teacher dismissal process more efficient and less expensive, while maintaining fairness and due process for teachers. CSBA has been working with legislators and stakeholders on this issue for more than two years, and remains committed to developing a better dismissal process. We will continue to engage stakeholders and look forward to advocating on this critical issue before the Senate Education Committee hearing later this month.
CSBA represents elected school board members who govern public school districts and county offices of education, and is committed to advocating for strong reforms that advance the education and well-being of California’s more than 6 million school-age children. We will continue to work to ensure that a strong and effective teacher dismissal bill will reach the Governor’s desk for his signature.”