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Calif. GOP Lawmakers Respond To LA Teacher Arrests

Aired 3/13/12 on KPBS News.

Republican state lawmakers are introducing legislation that would speed up the process California school districts use to fire teachers. It's a response to arrests of several Los Angeles Unified School District teachers on sexual misconduct charges.

Republican state lawmakers are introducing legislation that would speed up the process California school districts use to fire teachers.

It’s a response to the arrests of several Los Angeles Unified School District teachers on sexual misconduct charges.

Assemblyman Steve Knight said the legislation takes suggestions from the district and LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

“Mayor Villaraigosa and LA Unified have come forward with some needed reforms – reforms that make sense to me as a parent and a legislator," said Knight, "and we cannot allow deficiencies in the law and rigid contracts to stand in the way of allowing law enforcement and school officials to protect our children.”

The legislation would eliminate the requirement that districts remove all allegations more than four years old from a teacher’s file. It would also allow districts to fire teachers for disciplinary reasons without pay after an administrative hearing.

Democratic State Senator Alex Padilla has been working on a similar bill. He’s in discussions with the district and teachers unions.

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