Education

Senate OKs bill easing firings for teacher abuse

Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles, California February 6, 2012.
Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles, California February 6, 2012.
Krista Kennell/AFP/Getty Images

The state Senate has passed a bill making it easier to fire teachers accused of sex abuse, child abuse or serious drug crimes.

Senators unanimously passed AB215 on a 33-0 vote Monday. The bill by Democratic Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan of Alamo creates a separate hearing process for teachers who are charged with egregious misconduct. It also requires school districts to hold a hearing within six months if a teacher appeals.

The bill was the result of a compromise after previous legislative efforts to speed up the disciplinary process failed.

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AB215 was presented by Sen. Alex Padilla, a Los Angeles Democrat who sought changes after longtime Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt pleaded no contest for lewd acts including spoon-feeding students his semen.

The bill now moves to the Assembly.