House Bill 350 Tightens Teacher License Suspension Law With Potential Controversy For Rights Of Teachers

The most interesting part about House Bill 350 isn’t the bill itself, but who the Delaware House of Representatives main sponsor is: Pete Schwartzkopf.  I usually don’t see his name as a main sponsor on education bills which leads me to believe this bill is coming from Governor Markell himself.  I could be wrong on that, but it is a hunch.  In any event, there is very interesting changes to the language in the Delaware state code for this pending legislation.  I have a feeling the Delaware State Education Association (DSEA) will not like the change from “shall” to “may” for reinstatement of a teacher’s license if a teacher is found not guilty of an offense that would cause their license to be suspended.  Some of the changes are common sense changes, but others are a bit unpredictable.

The one area teachers may have an issue with is the publication of the license suspension.  What if the charges are dropped or a no guilty verdict happens.  With the name published already, that could certainly cause an issue when they go to look for another position in their own district or another district.  Just having a name on that list could severely damage a teacher’s reputation, especially in a state as small as Delaware.  The bill also seems to give the Secretary of Education more authority and decreases the role of the local school district in making decisions.

The next stop is the House Education Committee.  I would love to hear what teachers think of the changes in House Bill 350.

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