Local school district officials would be required to let the state Board of Educational Examiners know when a teacher or administrator is dismissed for “serious misconduct.”
Representative Kevin Koester, a Republican from Ankeny, says legislators learned many schools merely fire a teacher for improper behavior, like “sexting” a student, but don’t pass the information to state officials who have the authority to yank that educator’s license.
“We should be concerned about all students everywhere,” Koester says, “and so this, for serious misconduct, would prevent that person from having a license and then being employed in another district.”
If the bill becomes law, school districts will be required to tell the Board of Educational Examiners when a teacher or administrator falsifies grades, takes school property for personal use or in some way “solicits or consummates” an inappropriate relationship with a student.
“When there are a couple of thousand texts between a teacher and a student, that’s an indicator,” Koester says.
Koester and other lawmakers heard from ex-school board members who were upset to learn a teacher they’d fired for serious misconduct wound up being hired by another district.
“I’m appalled by that,” Koester says. “We care more about all students, so this bill is helpful.”
Another lawmaker used the phrase “pass the trash” to describe school districts that fail to report misconduct to the state board that can yank a teacher’s license — to ensure that teacher or administrator cannot get a job at another school.
The bill passed the House on a 96-0 vote. It now goes to the senate for consideration.