State lawmakers crack down on teacher misconduct
Teacher misconduct and instances of student abuse have not escaped the attention of state lawmakers.
The General Assembly examined issues surrounding child abuse protection last fall, including recommendations made by a statewide task force.
Among the measures:
• A proposal by Sen. Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia, aims to stop the practice of “passing the trash,” or allowing school districts to let teachers resign and get jobs with other districts.
Williams' bill, approved by the Senate and pending in the House, would allow a prospective employer to find out why a teacher resigned if the original district investigated sexual misconduct or abuse allegations. Currently, districts can refuse to release this information because of agreements with teachers under investigation.
A similar measure by Rep. Dave Maloney, R-Berks County, is pending before the House.
• Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Brookline, introduced a bill to combine the terms “student abuse” and “child abuse” so all reports would go directly to county children and youth agencies. The bill was approved by the Senate and is pending before the House. Currently, suspected child abuse that occurs outside a school is reported to the county agency; suspected abuse in schools is reported to local law enforcement and district attorneys.
• A measure by Sen. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster — signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett in December — expands the authority of the Professional Standards and Practices Commission, which takes disciplinary action against teaching certifications, by allowing it to establish fines and fees.
Among its other provisions, the law eliminates a one-year statute of limitations for filing misconduct complaints, expands mandatory reporting and provides immunity from civil lawsuits for districts that provide accurate teacher references involving professional misconduct.
— Kari Andren and Kate Wilcox
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.