The Arizona Education Board Can Now Discipline Charter School Teachers
What is the Arizona Board of Education’s disciplinary jurisdiction over charter schools? There is a recent state law passed here in Arizona, which gives the State Board of Education power or jurisdiction over charter schools regarding teacher discipline. Before in charter schools, teachers may have an EIN or an education identification number, but they were not required to be certified teachers. And therefore, they were not under the jurisdiction of the State Board of Education regarding discipline. However, that has changed. And so, now the State Board of Education does have jurisdiction to discipline teachers in charter schools who may not actually be considered certified teachers under the State Board of Education.
What Does It Mean To a Charter School Teacher?
So, what does this mean? If you are a charter schoolteacher, you could face discipline for unprofessional or immoral conduct that’s stated in Arizona statutes, even if you’re not a certified teacher. What does this look like? If a complaint is filed, they will investigate. Sometimes if there’s any type of improper conduct with students or staff, your school may have mandated reporting requirements. They would be required to report you to the State Board of Education. They can also report you to Child Protective Services and local law enforcement offices if applicable.
Then the State Board of Education can investigate. They would likely get a statement from that charter school educator. And then they may be under discipline. They can bring forth a hearing with the Professional Practices Advisory Committee. The state board can also write a letter of censure, which is public discipline. They can suspend your license. When I say license, I mean education ID number. They can suspend that, and then also they can revoke your EIN number. So, this is serious.
There have been times when educators were under discipline for their teaching certificates, so they left the public school setting and went to a charter school where they didn’t need their teaching certificates. However, now with this new law, the state Board of Education can impose discipline on those charter school teachers who don’t actually have a certified teaching license with the State Board of Education. So, this is important. It affects educators in the charter school setting.
What is the Role of the Arizona State Board of Education?
Abbreviated as ASBE, this board got created by the Arizona Constitution. Its primary mandate is to regulate the conduct of the state’s public school system. The ASBE comprises eleven members:
- The superintendent of public instruction.
- Four lay members.
- A chancellor or president of a community college district.
- The president of a state college or university.
- An owner or administrator of a charter school.
- A superintendent of a high school district.
- A county school superintendent.
- A classroom teacher.
The Arizona governor, in consultation with the state senate, appoints all ASBE members except the superintendent of public instruction. They serve for a term of four years, and their roles include:
Receiving Reports on Unprofessional or Immoral Conduct
The ASBE receives complaints about unprofessional or immoral conduct by certified and non-certified educators. After that, it opens investigations to determine whether the allegations constitute unprofessional or unbecoming conduct according to Arizona law. If formal complaints prepared by the Attorney General’s office get filed, the educator under question will be accorded due process as required by law.
Sanctions imposed by the ASBE become part of an educator’s permanent record and often get forwarded to a federal database. If that happens, the educator in question may get barred from teaching anywhere in the country. For this reason, it’s best to have an aggressive lawyer if a complaint is filed against you at the ASBE. At Chelle Law, we’ll defend your rights and ensure you get a fair hearing.
Educator Discipline and Oversight
Under the Arizona Administrative Code (A.A.C.), Title 7, Chapter 2, Articles 7 and 13, the ASBE is required to maintain educator oversight and discipline. In line with this, the board investigates and imposes various disciplinary actions on certified and non-certified educators found to have involved themselves in misconduct.
The possible disciplinary actions by the ASBE after an Arizona teacher PPAC complaint hearing include censure, suspension, and license revocation. The ASBE’s rules stipulate that Arizona educators who violate provisions of the state administrative code are deemed to have engaged in unprofessional or immoral conduct.
Such educators are liable to be disciplined by the board as deemed fit. However, the board can go overboard when handing disciplinary action or fail to listen to your side of the story. For this reason, you need an experienced teacher license defense lawyer to help guarantee the fair hearing you deserve.
Arizona Teacher Certificate Discipline Options | Education Disciplinary Action
What are the Arizona teaching certificate disciplinary options with the Arizona Board of Education? So, suppose you are an educator here in the state of Arizona. In that case, you likely hold a certificate from the Arizona Board of Education. Suppose any instances of immoral or unprofessional conduct are defined by statute and regulation, which can mean anything from breaking your teaching contract. In that case, there is a broad overview of a DUI outside the classroom, being impaired while teaching under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and unprofessional conduct with students’ communication inside or outside the school. And it’s broken down in the discipline guidelines the board has published. But with all of you, you have a couple of different options.
Negotiation of Settlement Agreement Regarding Immoral or Unprofessional Misconduct
Let’s say a complaint of immoral or improper behavior triggers an investigation. In that case, you can negotiate a settlement deal to agree on the license discipline that will be applied. If you can test this, there will be a hearing before the professional practices advisory committee, and they will make findings of fact and conclusions of law. They’ll use those guidelines for appropriate discipline against your license. So, let’s talk about those a little there are four main types of discipline that an investigation will bring against your license.
Four Types of Discipline Information
So, the first one is a letter of a cent. It is a public discipline, so it’s searchable. And there will be the finding of facts and conclusions of law on the circumstances regarding your discipline.
Next, is a suspension, so your license could be suspended anywhere from one to three years. Again, you must look to those guidelines that the board has published. And then there’s suspension with conditions. Those conditions might be any type of counseling or rehabilitation program, things like that. But it’ll specify in the actual discipline what needs to happen and what you must complete. And then lastly, there’s revocation, which means your license is revoked. So, you will not be able to hold a teaching certificate in Arizona. They will just take away your license.
So, there are just four broad categories. The suspension can be for different periods of time in the conditions. There may be things to consider that you must comply with before the suspension is lifted with these discipline guidelines. And then the types or the options of discipline the board or the professional practices, an advisory committee will also consider any aggravating circumstances.
These are things that are going to count against you. So, this is prior discipline, especially if it’s a similar act or mitigating circumstances that may help your case. If you’re new to the profession, you just didn’t know certain things that may help your case that would be considered. However, there are only those four categories of discipline. Of course, if they dismiss the complaint, there will be no discipline. So that would be the best outcome.
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