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January 27, 2010

Streamlining the Education Law Section §3020-a disciplinary procedure proposed

Streamlining the Education Law Section §3020-a disciplinary procedure proposed
Source: Council of School Superintendents

“A Legal Analysis” addressing the federal “Race to the Top” program was presented by Michele Handzel, Esq., General Counsel of The Council of School Superintendents at the Council's Winter Institute 2010.

Mr. Handzel’s presentation included proposals addressing efforts to streamlining the Education Law Section §3020-a disciplinary procedure.

The objective listed in the presentation with respect to §3020-a reforms: Expedite the 3020-a process to preserve the integrity of the teaching profession. Mr. Handzel noted that the Board of Regents is considering the development of a legislative proposal to provide incentives to teachers and administrators to expedite resolution.

Among the items being considered by the Regents are “financial incentives to expeditiously resolve §3020-a matters” and reducing the State’s financial burden related to paying the expense of the hearing such as the compensation paid hearing officers, stenographers, and panel members by compressing the time involved in processing the disciplinary action and the elimination of the need for a full §3020-a hearing process to excess a teacher who is not properly certified.

Mr. Handzel’s presentation cites a recent New York State School Board Association survey covering 2004 through 2008 in which it received responses from 400 school districts. NYSSBA's report indicated that it took an average of 502 days to conclude a full §3020-a disciplinary hearing. The hearing itself took an average of 176 days and there was an average of 136 days between the last hearing day and the date of a decision.

Mr. Handzel's presentation is posted on the Internet at:


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