Fuller Requests Changes to Speed Teacher Misconduct Reviews

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

(Sacramento) Today, Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) presented Senate Bill 1383 to the Senate Education Committee.  SB 1383 would ensure the increasing workload at the all-volunteer Commission on Teacher Credentialing’s Committee of Credentials would be addressed by adding two members, using a substitute list for absent Committee members, and allowing former Committee members to act as temporary substitutes.

“The Committee of Credentials has a very important job of protecting the integrity of California’s teachers, while safeguarding California’s students from any misconduct by their teachers,” said Senator Fuller.

The Committee is responsible for initiating all investigations into allegations of misconduct by credential holders and applicants, reviewing evidence, and recommending disciplinary actions to the Commission.

In fiscal year 2010-11, 650 total cases went to initial review before the Committee and 533 resulted in formal review.  In 2016-17, those numbers increased to 1,086 and 782 respectively.

This workload has become increasingly difficult to manage in the time allotted to Committee members, and any absences or vacancies only increase the workload, since the same number of cases must be divided among fewer members.  The Committee meets for three days each month, and adding meetings to address workload is not feasible.

Currently, the Committee consists of three public representatives, an elementary school teacher, a secondary school teacher, a school board member, and a certified school administrator.  SB 1383 would add one full-time certified teacher and an additional public representative.

“Any investigation and decision about alleged misconduct by a teacher should be done in a thorough, thoughtful and timely manner.  Senate Bill 1383 is an important step to address the growing workload facing the Committee,” concluded Fuller.

SB 1383 passed the Education Committee on a 6-0 vote.