California Educator

May 2014

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Advocacy Legislation " A S A C H I L D , I was a victim of physical abuse," shared Shawna Adam, who teaches transitional kindergarten in Hacienda Heights. "Although it pains me, I am sharing my story with lawmakers because I need them to under- stand the urgency of creating a process that more rapidly handles cases that involve sexual and child abuse." More than a dozen educators met with members of the state Senate Edu- cation Committee before testifying during the committee's hearing, urging passage of AB 215 by Assembly Member Joan Buchanan and her principal co-authors, Sens. Lou Correa and Alex Padilla. The bill passed unanimously out of the committee April 30. AB 215 updates and prioritizes the teacher discipline and dismissal appeal process with the goals of keeping students safe, saving time and money, and ensuring due process rights for educators. "CTA always supported changes to the dismissal process that protect students and are fair to educators," said CTA President Dean E. Vogel, Educators support legislation to streamline teacher dismissal process and keep students safe Check for updates on this and other legislative issues. By Claudia Briggs noting CTA's work with a "diverse group of folks who came together for thoughtful changes to the dismissal pro- cess that truly make a difference in ensuring student safety without stripping away the professional due process rights our teachers have earned." T h e b i l l c r e a t e s a s e p a r a t e h e a r i n g p r o c e s s f o r education employees charged with egregious miscon- duct, including child abuse, sexual abuse and certain drug offenses. "As educators, keeping children safe in our classrooms is always a top priority. We want to teach in a safe learning environment for our students, alongside educators who are committed and qualified," said Linda Ortega, a sec- ond-grade teacher at Mount Diablo Elementary School in Clayton. "This bill clarifies current law to ensure P H O T O B Y L E N F E L D M A N 38 M AY 2 0 1 4 Educator 05 May 2014 v1.6 int.indd 38 5/16/14 3:21 PM

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