SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — The Calif. Senate Education Committee today approved SB 1530 authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima). The bill expedites and elevates the dismissal process for teachers and other certificated employees whose misconduct is serious and egregious. SB 1530 won the unanimous support of the committee. The bill now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.

“Every parent should have confidence that their local school is a safe and nurturing environment for their children. Because a school board is ultimately responsible for ensuring a safe learning environment, the school board should be empowered to act decisively to protect children,” said Senator Padilla

During the past several months there has been a series of allegations of child sexual abuse throughout the state. Under current law, school boards in California are not empowered to make the final decision on whether a teacher, principal or any other certificated employee should be dismissed. SB 1530 would give that power to school boards in cases where there are serious and credible allegations or evidence of sex offenses, violence, or sale, use or exchange to minors of controlled substances.

“SB 1530 carefully and narrowly modifies the dismissal process in cases of sex, violence and drugs. It would empower school boards to act decisively to protect children while maintaining important due process rights,” Padilla said.

In cases involving sex, violence or drug offenses, SB 1530 would:

* Allow school boards to place an employee on unpaid leave after a motion of dismissal
* Require appeal hearings be conducted by an Administrative Law Judge whose decision would be advisory to the school board
* Allow evidence older than 4 years to be considered
* Eliminate prohibition of dismissals during the summer months
* Empower school boards to make the final decision on dismissal.

Senator Alex Padilla, 39, graduated from MIT with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He currently serves on the Board of MIT. 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.