LAUSD Eases Termination Rules in Sexual Misconduct Cases

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Unified School District board approved resolutions Tuesday that call for state law and district policy changes to make it easier to fire teachers in cases of sexual misconduct. The board also called for the creation of a standard procedure for notifying parents about such cases.

Currently, teachers accused of misconduct can continue to receive paychecks while challenging their dismissal — a process that can take years, the Daily Breeze reports. Board member Tamar Galatzan, a city prosecutor, said that many of these fired teachers are paid to drop their appeal. Mark Berndt, a former teacher at Miramonte Elementary accused of sexually abusing 23 students, received a $40,000 payoff from the district.

A group of Republicans in the state Legislature announced plans to introduce legislation that would comply with the board’s requests, the Chatsworth Patch reports. The district has asked that state education officials allow the district to remove a teacher from the classroom immediately after beginning dismissal proceedings, among other changes.

The district has also been working with state Sen. Alex Padilla on a bill that would give school boards throughout California the ultimate authority to decide personnel and disciplinary issues, the Daily Breeze reports.

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