Lara Convenes Joint Oversight Hearing on the Commission on Teacher Credentialing

May 10, 2011

Audit Findings Severely Question the Commission’s Commitment and Ability to Protect California’s School Children

SACRAMENTO – The Commission on Teacher Credentialing was under scrutiny at today’s Joint Oversight Hearing.   Assembly Member Ricardo Lara, Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, (D-Bell Gardens) convened the hearing to address the issues found at the Division of Professional Practices, which is tasked with reviewing allegations of teacher misconduct and recommending if a teacher should have their credentials revoked.  The hearing focused on reviewing the State Auditor’s recommendations to determine what action is needed to ensure that the commission is operating efficiently and in the best interest of California’s school children.

“I am very concerned that the management at this Commission has allowed it to flounder at the expense of the safety of our children,” said Lara. “It appears it has become a fraternity, in which management has been allowed to hire friends and family, leaving 43% of the staff in fear of retaliation.”

The commission was tasked with the responsibility of ensuring excellence in education by establishing high standards for the preparation and licensing of public school educators.  It issues teacher credentials, certificates, and permits for positions such as school administrators, activity supervisors, and educators working in specialized teaching areas.  The division of Professional Practices is housed within the commission and is responsible for investigating teacher misconduct and making recommendations for an adverse action towards a teacher’s credential.  The Committee of Credentials at that point determines if a teacher’s credential should be revoked based on misconduct and unprofessional behavior.

“The backlog of complaints against teachers who were accused of everything from DUI’s to rape is disturbing.  The Commission must operate efficiently and effectively in order to serve the best interest of the teachers and the students. Drastic changes need to be implemented, and they need to happen now” concluded Assembly Member Lara.