Senator Alex PadillaLOS ANGELES, Calif. /California Newswire/ — California State Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) released the following statement today regarding the California State Auditor’s report on Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) handling of child abuse allegations:

“Some of the key conclusions of the audit include:

• The lengthy, expensive dismissal process required by state law contributes to the district’s settling with employees rather than continuing with the dismissal process.

• The dismissal process that the district must follow for classified employees and substitute teachers is shorter than the process for certificated employees.

• The disciplinary process increases the time required to resolve cases of child abuse.

The State Auditor confirms that the dismissal process established in state law is inconsistent, too lengthy, too costly and delays the timely resolution of child abuse cases.

I believe strongly that when there are allegations of abuse, timely resolution is important to all parties, particularly children and their parents.

On Monday, December 3, I will be reintroducing legislation that seeks to reform the dismissal process. Like the measure I authored last year, the legislation will be narrowly tailored. I will continue to reach out to the California Teachers Association and United Teachers Los Angeles in the spirit of cooperation and in hopes of reaching consensus. My goal is now, and has always been, to ensure essential due process rights while allowing for timely resolution of cases that involve sex abuse, violence or drug offenses involving children.

Such cases should not be allowed to languish in a process that can last for years and consume significant school resources. While the audit was specific to Los Angeles Unified School District it is clear to me that this is an issue of statewide concern.”

This past year, Senator Padilla authored SB 1530, a bill that would have expedited the dismissal process of certificated public school employees in cases where they have been accused of sex, violence or drug offenses involving children. The bill won overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate but failed to garner enough support to pass the Assembly Education Committee. To read the summary of the report click on link:

Senator Alex Padilla, 39, graduated from MIT with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He currently serves on the Board of MIT and as President of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. He is Chair of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee and represents the more than 900,000 residents of the 20th State Senate District which includes most of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.