Education A State Capitals Roundup

Tennessee May Raise Pressure to Report Teacher Misdeeds

By Joetta L. Sack — September 07, 2005 1 min read

Tennessee administrators could lose their jobs or be suspended if they do not report to the state the names of teachers who are fired or who resign because of wrongdoing, under a measure the Tennessee state board of education is considering.

The policy would add penalties for superintendents who do not report a dismissed teacher’s transgressions if those acts are serious enough to revoke the teacher’s license. Superintendents are now required to report such offenses to the state Department of Education within 30 days, but there is no penalty if they do not.

“We did not have any teeth in that requirement, and we’re concerned about underreporting,” said Rich Havilund, the general counsel for the state board of education.

The proposed change would also clarify existing rules on suspension and reinstatement of teaching licenses. The board plans a final vote on the proposal next month.