State lawmakers have revised the list of sex offenses that mandate the immediate suspension of a teaching credential. These changes take effect on January 1, 2018.
Assembly Bill (AB) 872 adds several sex offenses to the list of offenses that lead to immediate suspension of a teaching credential, contained in Education Code section 44010. The new list includes all sex crimes requiring registration under the Sex Offender Act, as spelled out in subdivision (c) of section 290 of the Penal Code, and sending sexual text messages to a minor.
The bill was intended to close a loophole in current law where not all sex offenses that lead to credential revocation result in an automatic suspension of credentials by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). Under existing law, employees can be charged with a sexual offense that could lead to a revocation action by the CTC, but remain able to teach because their credential is not suspended. This legislation broadens the list sexual offenses for which CTC can immediately suspend a credential pending revocation.
The new law also expands the circumstances under which a district is required to place an employee on a mandatory leave of absence when the employee is charged with a sex offense.
This amendment impacts multiple statutes, including those requiring a mandatory leave of absence, a mandatory denial of a credential application and mandatory suspension and revocation of a credential. For example, Education Code section 44425 states that whenever a holder of a teaching credential has been convicted of or has entered a plea of no contest for a sex offense under the definition provided by Education Code section 44010, the CTC shall suspend the credential. When the conviction becomes final or when the imposition of a sentence is suspended, the CTC shall immediately revoke the individual's credential.
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