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Calif. Republican politicos to introduce legislation to reform teacher dismissal process

California State Capitol in Sacramento
California State Capitol in Sacramento

Republicans in the state Senate and Assembly plan to introduce legislation Tuesday aimed at reforming the teacher dismissal process in response to the sex-abuse scandal that has rocked L.A. Unified over the last months.

The officials plan to announce their plans hours before the L.A. Unified school board votes on two resolutions that aim to beef up the employee discipline process, one of which calls on the legislature to make changes to the state's Education Code on how it deals with credentialed employee dismissals.

"State law has hamstrung school administrators from firing teachers when misconduct crimes occur," said the release from Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, of Diamond Bar, and Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway, of Tulare.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wrote Gov. Jerry Brown a letter dated Feb. 29 urging him to revise portions of the teacher dismissal laws to make it easier to fire teachers. He said that an average dismissal proceeding costs the district $300,000.

"While state policies must protect the many educators who are doing great work, they must not become obstacles that hinder the immediate termination of employees who engage in criminal behavior and harm children," Villaraigosa wrote.

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).