Smyth, Knight introduce teacher misconduct reform bills

Cameron Smyth News

In an effort to address allegations of teacher misconduct in the Los Angeles Unified School District, Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, and Assemblyman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, have introduced legislation that will enact teacher misconduct reform if passed.

The first measure introduced into the Assembly by Knight and Smyth – AB 2028 – addresses administrative changes to empower local school districts to respond more effectively to teacher misconduct cases, according to a prepared statement from Assembly Republican Caucus leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare.

If passed, the bill would prohibit future collective bargaining agreements from requiring the removal of complaints, reprimands or investigations into a teacher’s conduct from his or her file after a specified time.

Smyth has also introduced AB 1681, which would strip teachers involved in misconduct cases of their pensions.

“By introducing our reform proposals today as state legislation, we take an important step toward helping local districts better protect students from dangerous predators in the classroom and ensuring that those who hurt our kids do not benefit financially,” Knight and Smyth said in the statement.

“As these measures move through the legislative process, we look forward to working across party lines with our colleagues to pass these truly nonpartisan reforms and give parents peace of mind that their kids will be safe at school.”

Republican members of the Senate introduced identical measures Thursday.

The measures were written in response to recent alleged incidents of sexual misconduct at LAUSD, including the investigation into LAUSD teacher Mark Berndt, who has been charged with 23 counts of lewd conduct, according to Conway’s statement.