SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The state Senate has passed a bill intended to accelerate and streamline the process for dismissing teachers accused of misconduct.
AB375 by Democratic Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan of Alamo adds homicide charges to the list of offenses that can prompt a teacher's removal. At the same time, it removes possession of marijuana and some other drugs from the list of offenses that can trigger immediate removal.
The legislation responds to last year's arrest of a teacher at a Los Angeles elementary school who was charged with 23 counts of engaging in lewd conduct with students. Mark Berndt appealed after he was fired, and the district ultimately paid him $40,000 to drop his challenge.
The bill was passed 25-13 by the Senate on Thursday and returns to the Assembly for final action.