Education Law Topics: Credential Issues

CTC Grants Teacher's Petition for Reinstatement

When a teaching credential is revoked for misconduct, it can be difficult to obtain reinstatement.  Only deserving cases will merit that remedy, and they must be presented with sensitivity and professionalism.

Recently, our office represented a teacher whose credential had been revoked almost 20 years ago for misconduct involving a student. The teacher had made several previous petitions for reinstatement, all of them unsuccessful.

Several factors made the difference this time, including:

Sexting Costs Certificated Teacher His Job – Personal Ad on Craigslist for Sexual Relations Deemed “Immoral Conduct” and Evidence of “Unfitness” Under Education Code Section 44932; Court Declares That Teachers, as Role Models, Occupy Special Position and

Sometimes when teachers do what others do, they can get into trouble simply because they are teachers.  A case from San Diego highlights this very problem. In San Diego Unified School District v. Commission on Professional Competence, the court held that a teacher’s act of posting lewd photos and advertising for sex on Craigslist constituted “immoral conduct” and made the teacher “unfit” to continue working in the San Diego school district.

California Teachers & DUI – CTC Reporting Requirements

California teachers who have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) often ask us about their reporting responsibilities to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).  The short answer is that a teacher who is already certificated does not necessarily have to report a DUI conviction at the time it is entered on the record, but a bit of background is helpful.

Certificated School District Employees – Know Your Suspension Rights!

We have handled many suspension cases over the years and it is amazing how often the procedure goes wrong.  In a typical situation, a senior administrator (sometimes the Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent) sends a notice to a teacher or principal informing them that they will be suspended without pay within 10 days.  In some cases, the letter will offer a “hearing” of some sort.

Teacher with DUI: California Commission for Teacher Credentialing (CTC) Cannot Automatically Suspend or Revoke Credential

If a teacher has a DUI conviction, can the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) utilize a “per se” standard and conclude that the person is aromatically disqualified as a matter of law from teaching in California?  The answer is no.  In the case of Broney v. California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the court rejected use of a  “per se” rule. 

Court Recognizes Flexibility in California’s Certification of Teachers Under "No Child Left Behind Act"

Education is a hot button topic in America.  One of the great challenges is placing highly qualified teachers in the classroom – especially in classrooms serving underprivileged students.  One attempt to bridge the achievement gap between rich and poor (and between different ethnic groups) is the so-called “No Child Left Behind Act” (NCLB, 20 U.S.C. Sections 6301, et seq.).  Under the NCLB, core subjects must be taught by “highly qualified” teachers.  Individual states are free to adopt innovative certification programs to assure that level of competence in the classroom.