So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

LAUSD files 604 cases of alleged teacher misconduct with state from past 4 years

Miramonte Elementary School

Grant Slater/KPCC

Miramonte Elementary School is the center of a scandal where two teachers have been accused of engaging in lewd acts with students.

L.A. Unified officials have sent more than 600 cases of alleged teacher misconduct from the past four years to the state’s teacher credentialing agency for possible investigation.

Superintendent John Deasy ordered the filing or refiling of all cases of teachers accused of misconduct over the past four years in February after KPCC reported that the district broke state law when it waited a year before notifying the state that it had fired Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt. Berndt is charged with committing lewd acts with children.

"The whole project has been completed and all of the files we deemed appropriate to go up there were sent up," Deasy said today.

In all 604 cases were sent dating back to July 1, 2008, said LAUSD spokesman Thomas Waldman. According to the commission's most recent numbers recorded May 12, 103 cases were previously reported by the district and 122 are not within its jurisdiction; about 60 percent warrant formal review. The cases include a range of issues from failure to maintain a required credential to "an allegation of abuse of a child."

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LA Unified combs through emails, employee relations office files, logs and databases

Grant Slater/KPCC

Parents of students at Miramonte Elementary School escort they children out of school on February 6, 2012.

LAUSD spokesman Thomas Waldman provided more details today on the internal investigation into the district's reporting of teachers accused of misconduct to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Superintendent John Deasy said Wednesday the district would be refiling all reports of teacher misconduct over the last three academic years to ensure no cases slipped through the crack as has been recently reported in two instances by the media.

According to Waldman, district officials will be going through the email records of past L.A. Unified mandated reports that were sent to the commission. They will also look at any email records retrieved by the IT department from district servers and backup records. Officials will look through employee relations office files, logs and databases; data from the Los Angeles County Office of Education; and any correspondences or reports that have come in from the commission or that may have been misplaced, Waldman said. 

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Supt. Deasy acknowledges LAUSD violated law by failing to notify state about accused Miramonte teacher

Protestors march near Miramonte Elementa

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Protestors march near Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles, California February 6, 2012. Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy informed parents at a community meeting that the district is replacing the entire staff of Miramonte Elementary School after the arrests last week of two teachers on lewd conduct charges.

Superintendent John Deasy acknowledged today that LAUSD violated state law when it failed to notify a state agency responsible for teacher credentialing of the suspension of Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt, who is accused of spoon-feeding his semen to children. Deasy said the district has launched an internal investigation to determine why this happened.

The story was first reported Thursday by KPCC, which provided the district with a letter addressed to Deasy from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing dated Wednesday that stated that the district's failure to provide a timely report on teachers posed a "potential risk to student safety."

The state's Commission on Teacher Credentialing suspended Berndt's credential on Jan. 31, the same day he was arrested and charged with 23 counts of lewd conduct on children. But according to the state code of regulations and the education code, the superintendent is required to inform the credentialing commission of Berndt's February 2011 suspension without pay by mid-March of 2011.

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Supt. Deasy told by state agency LAUSD failure to inform on Miramonte teacher posed potential risk to student safety

Krista Kennell/AFP/Getty Images

Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy speaks during a press conference at South Region High School #2 in Los Angeles, California February 6, 2012. Deasy earlier informed parents at a community meeting that the district is replacing the entire staff of Miramonte Elementary School after the arrests of two teachers on lewd conduct charges.

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing wrote Superintendent John Deasy a letter dated Wednesday informing him that the district was posing a "potential risk to student safety" by not filing timely reports required by state regulation when a teacher's employment status changes.

In the case of former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt, accused of spoon-feeding his semen to children, the district did not file paperwork with the commission until nearly a year after it moved to dismiss Berndt.

Nanette Rufo, the commission's director and general counsel, cites the California code of regulations in the letter, which warns Deasy that "failure to make a report required under this section constitutes unprofessional conduct. The Committee may investigate any superintendent who holds a credential who fails to file reports required by this section. (Emphasis added)."

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