A proposed bill seeking to speed up the process for firing teachers for unprofessional or criminal conduct stalled Wednesday in the state Senate Education Committee.
Senate Bill 1059, authored by Sen. Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), Monrovia's representative in the State Senate, was inspired by recent sexual abuse cases in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Unified School District, as well as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, supported the measure, Huff said.
The Education Committee did vote on a second bill related to firing teachers, reported the Los Angeles Times. That proposed legislation, authored by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), received an initial vote in the committee of 8 to 0, earning bipartisan support, the newspaper reported.
Senate Bill 1530 provides school boards greater authority when firing teachers. The proposed legislation also would get rid of requirements that teachers be notified about disciplinary charges before being removed from the classroom when the allegations involve sex abuse, drugs, or violence. The bill goes to the Senate Appropriation Committee next.
“Every parent should have confidence that their local school is a safe and nurturing environment for their children,” Padilla said in a news release. “Because a school board is ultimately responsible for ensuring a safe learning environment, the school board should be empowered to act decisively to protect children.”
The California Teachers Association opposes both bills. President Dean Vogel told that Times that the proposed bills did nothing to get to the root of the problem and were not needed.
Huff, who represents Glendora in the 29th District, voted in support of Padilla’s bill but had said in a press release prior to the hearing that he felt it "falls short in protecting our school-aged children."
The Senate Republican leaders's bill was more extensive than Padilla’s, calling for teachers to be stripped of retirement and benefits from those convicted of a felony related to their jobs and pushing for them to be removed from the classroom if it is believe there are under investigation for offenses related to certain sex, drugs, or violence against students.