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Calif. Laws Crack Down on Sex-Offender Teachers

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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed two bills making it tougher for teachers who commit sex crimes to remain in California's public schools.

The new laws close loopholes in the state's teacher licensing system that allowed some teachers accused or convicted of serious crimes to remain in the classroom.

The bills were prompted by an Associated Press investigation last year into sexual misconduct by teachers.

A law by Sen. Jack Scott, a Democrat from Pasadena, revokes teachers' licenses if a prior criminal conviction limited their contact with children. Teachers' credentials also would be suspended automatically if their licenses had been revoked for misconduct in another state.

A bill by Republican Sen. Bob Margett of Arcadia authorizes the state to revoke teachers' licenses if they plead no contest to certain sex or drug offenses.

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