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Published: Tuesday, 11/13/2007

State education board to vote on teacher discipline system


COLUMBUS - The State Board of Education is scheduled to vote Tuesday on proposals that would tighten a teacher-discipline system in which educators' past charges of wrongdoing were often shrouded in secrecy.

If the board approves the proposals, the Ohio Department of Education would then go to the Legislature in an effort to get the recommendations into law.

Among the suggestions are a proposal that the department provide publicly the reason for a teacher discipline even when it's based on a sealed conviction. Currently, if the department punishes a teacher based on an expunged conviction, the reason must be kept secret.

Another suggestion is to have courts automatically revoke educator licenses for some serious offenses.

Board members are also discussing how to make sure the state is aware when a teacher is arrested, possibly by requiring educators to inform employers of their arrest.

The proposals by the board are in addition to legislation approved by Ohio lawmakers last week that require the department to create a code of conduct for educators and to provide specific punishments for certain types of wrongdoing. The bill has been sent to the governor's desk and needs his signature before becoming law.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com

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