Friday, January 23, 2015

Proposed changes to the Education Law §3020-a disciplinary procedures


Proposed changes to the Education Law §3020-a disciplinary procedures
Source: Office of the Governor

On January 21, 2015 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo presented his “2015 Opportunity Agenda” in course of delivering his "State of the State Message."

The Governor said that ”The current teacher discipline and termination system, commonly known as 3020-a hearings, is broken. The hearings are costly and time-consuming for districts, and allow arbitrators to overrule administrators’ determinations of competency and of appropriate remedies. Administrators take on protracted battles that they may or may not win, at great cost to themselves and their school communities, in attempting to eliminate ineffective and incompetent educators in their buildings.Below is the Governor’s proposal to “Make it easier, fairer and faster to remove ineffective teachers from the classroom” 

Proposal #43: Make it easier, fairer and faster to remove ineffective teachers from the classroom
 

The Governor had proposed the following reforms to Education Law §3020-a hearings “to streamline the hearing process, shift the presumptions, and strengthen evidentiary standards,” including:

1. In the case of a teacher accused of physical or sexual abuse of a child, there will be an expedited hearing with a decision rendered within 60 days.

2. Easing the legal burden on school districts seeking to remove a teacher that has been rated ineffective two years in a row.

3. Elimination of the current legal requirement that administrators must attempt to “rehabilitate” teachers who are incompetent or engage in misconduct.

4. Removal of the requirement that children must testify in person and will allow them to testify via sworn written or video statements.

5. Clarification of the existing law with respect to the dismissal of a non-tenured teacher.

The Governor’s full “2015 Opportunity Agenda” policy book is available here, and the corresponding presentation is available here.


Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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