Changing Teacher License Rules

The General Assembly is considering tightening the state's education licensure system.

The purpose is to ensure that teachers who sexually abuse children aren't allowed to teach in another jurisdiction and repeat their crimes.

Virginia's Department of Education is supporting legislation that would require courts to promptly inform local school divisions when teachers are convicted of felonies, sexual offenses, physical abuse or drug charges.

The legislation also would require local school boards to inform the state Board of Education within ten business days after they fire teachers or accept their resignations as a result of such violations. Local school divisions also must notify the state when a teacher is the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect.

The bill aims to close gaps in current state law that allow teachers who abuse students or commit other violations to be hired again, in the time between when they're terminated at the local level and when that information gets to the state Department of Education, which issues and revokes teaching licenses.


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